The Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE)

Advice on collective worship and religious education in community schools

The role of SACRE is to support and give advice to the local authority, schools, teachers, parents/carers on matters that are related to collective worship and religious education in community schools.

Blackburn with Darwen, SACRE is a statutory body, made up of people from a wide range of faith groups who volunteer to be members. It is not part of the local authority, which means that they can ask us to review our locally agreed religious education syllabus. They will also consider requests from schools that want to stop providing an act of worship (broadly Christian in nature) to some, or all of the children in the school.

The structure of Blackburn with Darwen’s SACRE is defined by law, and is made up of four groups or committees.

  • Committee A – Christian denominations and other religions reflecting the principal religious traditions of the area
  • Committee B – The Church of England
  • Committee C – Professional Associations and RE networks (primary, secondary, special/alternative provision)
  • Committee D – The local authority

Other individuals can be co-opted onto SACRE to support its work.

Why have a SACRE?

It is required by law that each local authority has its own Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE)

Key functions of a SACRE

  • Monitoring standards of RE and collective worship
  • Requiring the review of an agreed syllabus for RE adopted by the local authority
  • Considering complaints about the provision and delivery of RE and collective Worship referred to it by the local authority
  • Supporting schools through advice on methods of teaching, choice of materials and provision of teacher training
  • Making a determination on collective worship when requested
  • Advising the local authority on matters connected with RE and collective worship
  • Publishing an annual report of its work

The main function of SACRE is to advise the local authority on matters related to the teaching of religious education which follows the agreed syllabus, and on collective worship in schools.

The Blackburn with Darwen agreed syllabus for religious education for 2023 to 2028 was adopted from Blackburn Diocese. It is the syllabus to be used by all community schools and is recommended for academies and free schools. The full document has been distributed directly to all schools. If you need it re-sending, contact For agreed syllabus details, email Sharifa Valli at or telephone 01254 666462.

The Agreed syllabus will be reviewed in 2028 to 2029, and a new or revised version will be published in 2029. 

Details on the legal framework, rights and responsibilities can be found on the GOV UK website.

To comply with copyright requirements the agreed syllabus licensed for use in Blackburn with Darwen Schools must not be distributed to schools or teachers working outside of/beyond the local authority.


Annual reports

School Improvement Plans


Terms of reference