The 1988 Education Act confirmed that Religious Education (RE) is a compulsory part of the curriculum. The local authority (LA) has a statutory duty to create a standing advisory council on religious education (SACRE). SACRE’s role is to advise the local authority on matters related to the RE in its schools, which must follow a locally agreed syllabus, and on collective worship in schools.

Suffolk SACRE is a partnership between the LA and its communities. It is jointly led by Helen Matter and Karen Harman. SACRE meets at least once a term and minutes/agendas are made available on the Suffolk SACRE website. They are open meetings and members of the public are welcome to attend. Currently some, meetings are being held virtually. Please see below for dates, times and venues where appropriate.

Please contact the Suffolk SACRE clerk for further information.

Meeting dates for 2023-2024 are:

  • Tuesday 31 October 2023 – 4:30pm-6pm
  • Thursday 7 March 2024 – at the Hadleigh United Reformed Church, IP7 5DL . The room is booked from 3.30pm to 6.30pm.
  • Thursday 20 June – 4.30pm-6pm, at the Ipswich Buddhist Centre, 4 Friars Bridge Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 1RR.

SACRE Functions

SACREs are legally responsible for advising LAs on matters concerned with the provision of RE and collective worship, and with ensuring compliance. They:

  • provide advice to the LA on all aspects of its provision for RE in its schools, supporting its effectiveness and considering any changes needed in support offered to schools
  • decide whether the LA’s Agreed Syllabus for RE needs to be reviewed and require the LA does so by setting up an Agreed Syllabus conference
  • monitor and provide advice to the LA on the provision of daily collective worship in its schools and consider any actions which might be taken to improve it
  • consider any requests from headteachers to hold collective worship that is not wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character (known as a determination)
  • offer advice particularly on methods of RE teaching, the choice of resources and the provision of training for teachers

SACRE membership:

A SACRE consists of four committees each representing a different group or ‘constituency’:

Committee AThe Christian denominations (other than the Church of England) and other religions
Committee BThe Church of England
Committee CTeacher and headteacher associations and others representing education interests
Committee DThe local authority

In addition SACRE can co-opt members who have a particular interest and/or specific expertise in RE. Co-opted members do not have voting rights.

On any question to be decided by SACRE, only the four committees are entitled to vote, each group having a single vote.

SACRE Membership

SACRE Constitution and Procedure

Contact SACRE

Linden Pitcher
Clerk to the Suffolk SACRE
Email: [email protected]