Council meetings

Meetings by committee

Standing Advisory Council of Religious Education (SACRE)


Information about Standing Advisory Council of Religious Education (SACRE)

The Standing Advisory Council shall be called the Lewisham SACRE (Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education). It is established under Section 3.90 – 3.97 of the Education Act 1996 as amended.




In this Constitution


‘Local Authority’ means Lewisham Council acting either independently or through the Education Lead Member and Children and Young People’s Directorate.

‘The council’ means Lewisham’s SACRE.

‘Member’ means a member of SACRE and includes a substitute or co-opted member.

‘Elected member’ means an elected member of the Lewisham Council sitting on Committee D as a SACRE member


All questions of Interpretation are governed by the “Interpretation Act” 1978 as may be subsequently amended.


Role and functions


(i)       To advise the Local Authority (Lewisham Council) on the religious education to be given in its schools in accordance with an Agreed Syllabus.  In particular, the SACRE can offer advice on methods of teachings, the choice of materials and the provision of training for teachers.

(ii)       To advise the Local Authority on matters pertaining to school worship in its schools.


With regard to (i) and (ii), the Local Authority may refer matters to the SACRE, which the latter must then consider and advise on.  The SACRE may also take the initiative and make recommendations to the Local Authority on these matters.


(iii)     To receive, determine and review applications from Head Teachers as to whether the requirement for collective worship that is wholly or mainly of a Christian character may not apply. This application to vary the legal requirement for collective worship may be for the whole school or for groups of pupils.


(iv)      To require the LA to set up a Statutory Agreed Syllabus Conference to review the Agreed Syllabus if, in the opinion of SACRE, this becomes necessary.


 (v)      To produce an annual report on its work which will, inter alia:


a)    describe the work that SACRE has undertaken

b)    specify matters in respect of which the SACRE has given advice to the Local Authority;

c)    broadly describe the nature of the advice given and the response given by the LA;

d)      where any such matters were not referred to the SACRE by the Local Authority, provide the SACRE’s reasons for offering advice on the matter.


Copies of the report will be made available to schools and the public on the SACRE and/or other appropriate website.


 At the discretion of the Local Authority, the SACRE may:


(a)        monitor the provision of Religious Education in order to inform its advice and reporting;

(b)        monitor the provision of collective worship in order to inform its advice and reporting;

(c)        be involved in Complaints Procedures.

(d)        protect and support the South London Multifaith and Multicultural Resources Centre as    

        a means of promoting effective religious education within the LA





The SACRE will have an elected Chair and an elected Vice Chair.


In the absence of the Chair or Vice-Chair at any meeting the Council can elect one of its members to act as the Chair for that meeting.




A list of those members deemed appropriate for the Lewisham SACRE under the legal framework is in the Appendix 1.


All members shall be delegates who are interested in education in general and religious education in particular. 


Delegates as members shall remain until such time as they will have resigned or have been removed from under the rules dictated by their sponsorship group, Governing Body of that class of Members or for any reason stated therein.


Members will work within the SACRE’s agreed Code of Conduct (Appendix 2).


Terms of Office of Members


Termination of SACRE membership by reason of non-attendance:


If a SACRE member is absent for 2 or more consecutive meetings without apology or for any reason not acceptable to the SACRE, the clerk will write to the member concerned to check whether their membership has lapsed and whether they would like to nominate a substitute or to refer their membership back to their sponsoring body.


Should they be absent from the next meeting without apologies or for any reason not acceptable to the SACRE there shall be deemed to be a vacated place to be filled by the sponsorship group / governing body for that class of members. The SACRE clerk will write to the lapsed member informing them of the decision and then write to the sponsoring body requesting a new member be nominated.




The Clerk, working on behalf of the LA and the Officers will approach sponsoring bodies for new delegates as soon as a vacancy arises.


Deputies / Substitute members


There can be a substitute member nominated by the absent member and notice of this substitution should be notified to the clerk of SACRE at least 6 hours in advance of the meeting.


Procedure for electing Chair and Vice Chair


The Chair and Vice-Chair of the Council shall be chosen from Members of the

SACRE and shall be elected at the first meeting in each education (academic) year.


Nominees for these positions should have served on the SACRE for at least twelve months so that members would have developed a relationship with that person and have confidence to nominate them to such an important position.




Co-option – SACRE has the power to co-opt members as agreed by the majority of its members.



A meeting will only be quorate if the following numbers of representative/s of

the respective groups are present: -


Group A - minimum of 2 representatives (1 Christian and 1 non-Christian)

Group B - minimum of 1 representative

Group C - minimum of 1 representative

Group D – minimum of 1 representative




Frequency of meetings

There will be a minimum of 5 SACRE meetings per year. These will be normally 2 in the Autumn and Summer terms and one in the Spring term


An Extraordinary meeting may be called or convened to deal with urgent matters of national or local importance.


Notice of meetings

The dates of the main meetings will be decided at the first meeting in the education (academic) year and circulated by the clerk to all members



Occasional sub committees or working parties will be convened for specific pieces of work. These will report back to the full SACRE meeting for the duration of their work.



Matters or items for the Agenda of any meeting shall be sent to the clerk at least 21 days in advance of the meeting. The Agenda shall be distributed to reach members at least 7 working days in advance of the next listed meeting.



All members are entitled to speak and vote on any issue as invited by the Chair but substitute or Co-opted members may speak but not vote at any meeting. SACRE will always seek to reach decisions on a consensus basis but when voting is to be exercised only one vote is allowed from each group A, B, C or D as mentioned above.


In the event of an equality of votes on any issue the Chair may exercise a casting vote.



Minutes will be taken by the clerk and cleared by the Officers.  The draft minutes of meetings shall be circulated to members within one month of the meeting taking place where possible or at the latest with the next set of meeting papers


Availability of papers to the public

Papers for each meeting will be made available on the Lewisham Council website