Religious education

Religious education (RE) is a statutory requirement for all schools but it is not part of the national curriculum.

Agreed syllabus

The agreed syllabus for RE in Northamptonshire is called 'Growing Together' and is the responsibility of the local authority.

View the agreed syllabus

The aims of religious education

The overall aims of religious education are to enable learners to become:

  • successful learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve
  • confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives
  • responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society

Pupils work towards the following attainment targets:

  • Attainment target 1: Learning about religion and belief
  • Attainment target 2: Learning from religion and belief

Standing Advisory Committee on Religious Education (SACRE)

Northamptonshire SACRE give advice on the agreed syllabus and on RE generally within schools in the county.

Mission statement
To offer Northamptonshire local authority high quality, informed advice in relation to the provision of religious education and collective worship in schools.
In undertaking its statutory functions the Northamptonshire SACRE will:

  • Value and promote cultural diversity and religious, social and racial harmony
  • Respect and value the beliefs, views and opinions of individual members
  • Establish effective, sensitive, respectful and positive partnerships

The Northamptonshire SACRE’s aims are:

  • To promote a positive understanding of religious education and the valuable contribution that it can make to young people’s education and personal development
  • To promote high quality religious education in Northamptonshire schools, encouraging schools to see the value of the subject as part of the education young people receive
  • To recognise and celebrate high quality provision of religious education and to disseminate good practice
  • To help teachers to raise standards in religious education by supporting and promoting training for schools and sharing good practice
  • To promote effective teaching and learning in religious education which allows pupils to explore what religious belief involves, promotes enquiry, independent thinking, discussion, collaboration, creativity and reflective thinking and enables pupils to develop positive values and beliefs by which to live their lives
  • To help schools to improve the quality of collective worship in schools in order that it makes an effective contribution to pupils’ spiritual, moral, social, cultural and physical development
  • To monitor and evaluate:
    • The training and support given to schools
    • Standards in RE in Northamptonshire schools
    • The effectiveness of the agreed syllabus
    • The effectiveness of the Northamptonshire SACRE
  • To contribute towards community cohesion by ensuring that local faith communities, schools and the local authority come together to share the common aim of working towards a society which values the individual and the diversity of beliefs; encourages empathy, sensitivity and respect; and which promotes a sense of belonging to local, national and global communities
  • To advise the local authority of its statutory duties to effectively support the work of SACRE

Annual report

Each SACRE has a duty by law to publish an annual report on its work. A copy of the annual report is sent to National Association of SACREs (NASACRE) and the DfE each year.

All Northamptonshire schools are expected to access the annual report and act according to any advice given.


If you have materials for the RE newsletter, particularly work from pupils or news of good RE in practice, please contact us.


The Northamptonshire SACRE usually meets 4 times a year (including an annual general meeting).The meetings are open meetings and anyone is welcome.

Previous meeting minutes are available on request.


SACRE Terms of Reference

​This document explains the duties and responsibilities of the Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE) in Northamptonshire.

Code of conduct

Religious education resources

Collective worship

There is a legal requirement on all those in school to provide a daily act of collective worship. The form that this takes will depend upon each individual school.

Assembly, worship and religious education contribute to the breadth and balance of these aspects of the curriculum. For example, school worship and religious education provide opportunities for exploring the spiritual dimension, whilst assembly is an appropriate situation in which to develop moral issues. It is important that the relationship between religious education, assembly and worship are understood by teachers and pupils.

Can a child be withdrawn from RE or collective worship?

A child can be withdrawn from all or part of RE or collective worship. It is a legal requirement that the right of withdrawal should be mentioned in the school prospectus.

Very occasionally a parent may wish to exercise the right to withdraw their child from all or part of RE. In this case the school might wish to try to discuss the matter with the parents:

  • to make sure that their request is based on a clear understanding of what RE involves, and
  • to make practical arrangements for the supervision of the pupil

If the parents still wish the pupil to be withdrawn then this right should be freely exercisable. Parents are not obliged to give reasons and the school is responsible for supervising the pupil.

Teachers similarly may exercise the right of withdrawal but in such a case schools must ensure that provision is made for all pupils to receive the RE that is their entitlement.

Contact Northamptonshire SACRE