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Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education


The Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education's (SACRE) main function is to advise the local authority on matters related to collective worship in community schools and religious education in accordance with the agreed syllabus.

Where to find help

Clerk to Cheshire West and Chester Council SACRE

Religious Education Primary Advisor

Religious Education Secondary Advisor

Why is there a SACRE?

In 1944, when religious education became a compulsory subject on the curriculum, local authorities were given the power to set up SACREs in order to decide what was taught in RE (also called religious instruction, religious knowledge, scripture or divinity). When the 1988 Education Act confirmed religious education as part of the basic curriculum, it became a duty for every local authority (LA) to appoint a SACRE. Religious education is the only compulsory subject in schools which remains locally determined.

What are the duties of a SACRE?

SACRE's main duty is to advise the local authority on religious education and collective worship for the schools within its remit.

SACRE should also

  • Require the local authority to review its agreed syllabus every five years
  • Consider requests from schools to be released from the requirement to provide collective worship that is wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character (a determination)
  • Publish an annual report of its work
  • Monitor the provision and quality of the agreed syllabus, and of collective worship
  • Meet in public, unless confidential information is to be disclosed
  • Record minutes of all meetings
  • Provide advice and support on teaching the agreed syllabus