Religious education

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The law specifies Religious Education must be taught in all schools, although it is not a part of the national curriculum.

Every Local Authority has to have a Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE). Further information is available from the National Association of Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education.

The aims of religious education are to enable pupils to:

  • acquire knowledge and understanding of religion, particularly as expressed in Christianity
  • the other principal religions represented in Great Britain
  • develop the ability to reflect, respond thoughtfully and evaluate what they learn about religions

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Peterborough Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education

Local authorities have a duty to establish a Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE) to advise them on matters relating to collective worship in community schools and on religious education. Religious education is a statutory part of the basic curriculum for all pupils.

SACRE publishes support materials, approves a programme of training for teachers and sponsors or supports other projects, which it deems to be consistent with its responsibility to promote religious education and spiritual, moral, social and cultural education in schools. Each year Peterborough SACRE submits a report of its activities to the National Association of SACREs (NASACRE).

SACRE produces a locally determined Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education at least every five years. It advises and monitors the quality and provision of statutory Religious Education and Collective worship in foundation, community and voluntary controlled church schools and reports on this annually to schools, the DfE and National Association of SACREs ( NASACRE). The Agreed Syllabus for RE 2018 along with a glossary of terms and primary assessment statements can be found below.

Agreed Syllabus 2018-2023

Size: 1.28 MB File format: pdf

Agreed Syllabus Glossary 2018-2023

Size: 1.14 MB File format: pdf

Primary Assessment statements 2018 -2023

Size: 71.36 KB File format: pdf

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Promoting community cohesion and values in school

The Education Act 2002 laid a duty on maintained schools to:

  • promote the well-being of pupils at the school, and in the case of a school in England, promote community cohesion
  • HMCI has a duty under section 5 of the Education Act 2005 (as inserted by section 154 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006) to report on the contribution made by schools to community cohesion
  • Ofsted will be looking for evidence to evaluate a school’s contribution to promoting well-being. Guidance on practical examples of the ways in which schools can contribute to well-being includes 'Delivering high quality citizenship and RE, to help children understand how society works; to prepare them for playing their part as adult citizens; and to help them understand other faiths and cultures while developing a sense of shared identity'.

The Education Act 1944 laid a requirement on schools '‘to promote the spiritual, moral, mental, cultural and physical development of pupils’. This is sometimes referred to in the abbreviation 'SMSC'.

In November 2014, the Department for Education published guidance on promoting British values in schools to ensure young people leave school prepared for life in modern Britain.

Development plan

  • Review the Agreed RE Syllabus to ensure its effectiveness
  • Strengthen links with schools to contribute to the monitoring and improvement of standards, quality and provision of RE in schools
  • Develop links with other partners (other key partners being: the local authority, local faith communities, relevant associations and local parents).
  • Collective Worship: contribute to monitoring and improvement of quality and provision of collective worship
  • Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development: encourage best practice in schools, including promotion of inter faith harmony

The SACRE regularly review the progress of its Development Plan at its meetings, you can download the latest agendas and minutes and the latest annual report produced by SACRE. 

Annual reports

SACRE agendas and minutes

SACRE agenda October 2019 (PDF, 203KB)
SACRE agenda July 2019 (PDF, 198.74KB)  SACRE minutes July 2019 (PDF, 162KB)
SACRE agenda February 2019 (PDF, 191.54KB) SACRE minutes February 2019 (PDF, 149.59KB)
SACRE agenda October 2018 (PDF,  192.25KB) SACRE minutes October 2018 (PDF, 147.92KB)
SACRE minutes June 2018 (PDF, 1.8MB)
SACRE agenda February 2018 (PDF, 116KB)
SACRE agenda October 2017 (PDF, 489.34KB) SACRE minutes October 2017 (PDF, 96KB)
SACRE agenda June 2017 (PDF, 106.46KB) SACRE minutes June 2017 (PDF,  100.04KB)
SACRE agenda October 2016 (PDF, 449.59KB) SACRE minutes October 2016 (PDF, 139.15KB) 
SACRE agenda June 2016 (PDF 190.81KB) SACRE minutes June 2016 (PDF, 104.60 KB)
SACRE agenda March 2016 (PDF 190.06KB) SACRE minutes March 2016 (PDF, 193.06KB)
SACRE agenda October 2015 (PDF, 107.95KB) SACRE minutes October 2015 (PDF, 107.95KB)
SACRE agenda February 2015 (PDF, 198.40KB) SACRE minutes February 2015 (PDF, 194.47KB)
SACRE minutes October 2014 (PDF 182.02KB)

Collective worship

The collective worship guidance includes sections on: the legal requirements; definitions of SMSC (social, moral, spiritual and cultural development ) which Ofsted use for their school inspections, planning successful collective worship including half termly planning sheets; reflection and prayer; monitoring collective worship by gathering evidence from staff and pupils and much more. 

Schools have a legal responsibility to offer collective worship each day. Should they consider this is not appropriate they can request the SACRE to determine whether this should be relaxed by completing the attached withdrawal form.

Withdrawal from collective worship (PDF, 42.15 KB)

SACRE membership

The Peterborough SACRE meet once a term, which comprises of four statutory groups:

  • Group A - representatives of non-Anglican Christian denominations, other religions and religious denominations
  • Group B - representatives of the Church of England
  • Group C - representatives of the teachers' associations
  • Group D - representatives of the Local Authority
Group A

Janet Berkman - Jewish representative
Gurdev Singh - Sikh representative
Adrian Peters - Free Church representative
Sukaina Manji - Muslim representative
Ryan Blackburn - other Christian domination representative
Vacancy - Buddhist representative
Vacancy - Baptist Church representative
Vacancy - The Quaker representative
Vacancy - Catholic representative
Vacancy - Hindu representative
Vacancy – Eastern Orthodox representative

Group B
Philip Davies - Church of England: Peterborough Diocese
Father Toby Sherring - Church of England: Peterborough Diocese
Alexandra Carton - Church of England: Peterborough Diocese
Rebecca Smith – Church of England – Ely Diocese
Group C
Jack Buley - Non-Anglican Christian
Mark Tomlins - Teacher representative
Group D Councillor Nick Sandford
Councillor Lynne Ayres
Councillor Aasiyah Joseph
Co-opted members Vacancy - Humanist Representative
Iain Simper - Peterborough Learning Partnership
Jenny Weeden

SACRE responsibilities

The responsibilities of the SACRE are:

  • to advise the Local Authority on Religious Education in accordance with an agreed syllabus
  • to monitor the provision and quality of Religious Education taught according to its agreed syllabus, together with the overall effectiveness of the syllabus
  • to provide advice and support on the effective teaching of Religious Education in accordance with the local agreed syllabus
  • and advise on maintaining the quality and standards of Religious Education
  • to provide advice to the Local Authority and its schools on methods of teaching the Peterborough City Council Agreed Syllabus, including the choice of teaching materials
  • to decide whether the Local Authority's Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education needs to be reviewed and to require the Local Authority does so
  • to produce an annual report to QCDA and Schools
  • to provide advice to the Local Authority on Collective Worship in its schools (this does not include Voluntary Aided or Voluntary Controlled Schools)
  • to consider any requests from Head teachers to hold Collective Worship that is not of a broadly Christian character
  • to advise on matters relating to training for teachers in RE and Collective Worship.

Peterborough SACRE constitution (PDF, 53.14 KB)

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Training Programme for Schools

Training Programme for Schools 2019-2020

Size: 149.58 KB File format: pdf

Useful links

The following websites for Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development (SMSC) are recommended for schools' consideration:

The following websites are the recommended key related links to Religious Education:

Contact SACRE

If you need any further information please contact:

  • RE Advisor for Peterborough City Council and SACRE
    Amanda Fitton
    Cambridgeshire County Council
    Stanton House
    Stanton Way
    PE29 6XL
    Telephone: 01480 375881
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