What is SACRE?
Every Local Authority has a statutory duty to adequately finance and support the work of its SACRE. Somerset SACRE meets once a term, usually Thursday afternoon at 1:00. It has a Religious Education Advisor, Clerk to SACRE, Chair and two vice chairs. Members may offer venues to meet at. These are usually schools or places of worship. The SACRE consists of four groups representing the local area. These are:
- Christian denominations and other faiths
- The Anglican Church
- Teacher associations
- The Local Authority
Somerset SACRE seeks to reach decisions by consensus. In the event of a vote, each group has one vote.
Members are recommended by their appointing body (e.g. the Diocese of Bath & Wells, The Baptist Union etc) If they are a straightforward replacement this is usually accepted by SACRE without discussion.
Requests by additional faith groups for representation may be considered by SACRE. They must demonstrate that they are a “major faith group” in the county – i.e. with multiple congregations and hundreds of members.
The LEA has the authority to accept, reject or remove a member.
In Somerset, a member missing two consecutive meetings will be replaced. There is also a code of conduct, and members in breach of this can be removed by the Local Authority.
A SACRE is a statutory body that each LA must set up and support in order to help monitor:
- the standards, quality of teaching and provision for RE in local schools;
- the effectiveness of the locally Agreed Syllabus for RE;
- the provision and quality of collective worship in local schools.
SACREs offer advice to LAs, and through the LA to schools, on matters to do with RE, teaching and learning in RE and appropriate resources to use. It also writes the local RE syllabus or adopts a syllabus from another LEA. Every five years, or earlier if necessary, SACRE establishes an Agreed Syllabus Conference (ASC) to review the Locally Agreed RE Syllabus.
SACRE’s other responsibility is to support the provision of Collective Worship.
Clerk to SACRE is usually the first point of contact. Enquiries can be passed on to the appropriate person – usually the chair or RE advisor.