Religious education (RE) is not part of the National Curriculum. Instead it is locally decided on by a Standard Advisory Council for RE (SACRE). Find out about Lambeth's religious education syllabus and SACRE.

Religious education encourages pupils to learn about the different religions represented in Great Britain, their beliefs, teachings and values. It encourages pupils to reflect on challenging questions about the meaning and purpose of life.

Sections in this guide (click title to view)

1. Lambeth SACRE (Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education)

The Education Act, 1996, states that every local authority (LA) must set up a Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE) with responsibility to advise it on matters concerned with the provision of religious education and collective worship. This provision was continued in the School Standards and Framework Act 1998. The Lambeth SACRE therefore is the statutory body whose role is to advise Lambeth Council on religious education and collective worship in Lambeth schools.

Who is in SACRE?

In order to bring a wide range of interests and talents to this work, every SACRE is made up of four groups, which by law are made up of representatives from:

  • Group A: Christian denominations (other than the Church of England) and other religions and religious denominations represented in the LA
  • Group B: the Church of England Including where possible a representative of the Director of Education of the Diocese
  • Group C: teachers’ professional associations
  • Group D: the local authority

What does SACRE do?

SACRE meets at least four times annually. At every meeting, members of SACRE do some or all of the following:

  • Update their knowledge, consider and comment on national initiatives and issues related to RE, pupils’ personal development, community cohesion and collective worship;
  • Consider and respond to information or advice from their adviser or national bodies;
  • Where available, review sections from any current OFSTED reports commenting on RE and collective worship, in order to gain information about standards of these areas;
  • Consider and respond to applications from schools to amend the legal framework for collective worship in their schools;
  • Work on the production of support materials for schools;
  • Review and advise on training being provided for RE teachers;
  • Develop or maintain links with and between local and national faith communities;
  • Produce an annual report of their work;
  • SACRE also produces occasional advice where necessary, to support schools at times of local, national or international difficulty.

SACRE can request a review of our current local religious education syllabus.

Within its statutory responsibilities, SACRE focuses on supporting and enhancing the provision of high quality RE within Lambeth schools where the agreed syllabus is in use. It encourages the provision of high-quality in-service training for those responsible for the delivery of RE.

If you are interested in finding out more about Lambeth SACRE, contact:

Maria Gabrielczyk, Clerk to Lambeth SACRE
Telephone: 07808 899653

2. Agreed syllabus for religious education

Since religious education (RE) is not part of the National Curriculum it is not subject to its statutory orders such as national attainment targets, programmes of study and assessment arrangements. Instead, it is locally determined. Under the 1988 Act each LEA is required to establish a Standing Advisory Council for RE (SACRE) to advise the authority and its teachers on matters concerning RE. It also has a duty to convene an occasional group called an Agreed Syllabus conference, which produces the local Agreed Syllabus which defines the content to be taught for each key stage and advises teachers on the assessment of pupils' learning in RE.

The 2005 reviewed Agreed Syllabus is the method by which that law is implemented in Lambeth schools. Members of the Lambeth Agreed Syllabus Conference wish to thank the Waltham Forest and Greenwich Agreed Syllabus Conferences on whose work this material is based.

This Syllabus has taken on board national initiatives and materials, including the Qualifications & Curriculum Authority (QCA) Non-statutory Framework for religious education (2004), in order that teachers and pupils might benefit from the most up to date advice and guidance.

An Agreed Syllabus is for all pupils and the members of the Agreed Syllabus Conference kept this principle at the heart of their work, endeavouring to remember and address the needs of pupils of all faith and cultural backgrounds, gender, disability or special need. This syllabus has been written for all of them. Each of them must see that those things that matter most, in terms of faith and culture, are valued and protected by this syllabus.

It is not the place of Religious Education to nurture pupils into a particular religious standpoint, still less into a system of belief that they will be required to accept. The task of nurturing of a particular faith is that of the home and/or the faith community who wish to do so. Schools are, however, required to promote the spiritual and moral development of pupils and to support them as they become adult members of society.