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Volunteer as a SACRE/SAC representative

Are you interested in education?

Do you believe that children should receive a broad education about both religious and non-religious beliefs and values? Are you willing to work cooperatively and patiently with members of religious organisations to make religious education and school assemblies more inclusive? If so, please read on.

What does Humanists UK want?

Humanists UK is currently looking for humanists who are interested in joining their local Standing Advisory Committee for Religious Education (SACRE) in England or Standing Advisory Council for Religion, Values and Ethics (SAC) in Wales. These local committees are made up of teachers, councillors, and volunteer representatives of religious groups, which determine and manage Religious Education (RE) / Religion, Values and Ethics (RVE) and collective worship in most local state schools.

Humanists UK affirms that equality legislation means that SACREs in England can and should include humanists as full voting members. In Wales, following the Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Act 2021, persons who represent holders of non-religious philosophical convictions (e.g. humanists) can be appointed to the SAC in the same way as persons who represent holders of religious beliefs.

Over one hundred (over half) of the SACREs/SACs in England and Wales have a humanist representative, either as a full voting or non-voting co-opted member. We now want humanists to be admitted onto the remaining committees and are looking for Humanists UK members who are willing to be put forward to join one.

What would being a SACRE/SAC rep involve?

SACREs/SACs typically meet about three times a year, usually in the evening, with ad hoc working parties between meetings. The number of meetings can be greater if your local authority is currently carrying out an Agreed Syllabus Conference (ASC) to develop a new locally agreed syllabus for RE/RVE. Humanists on SACREs/SACs should remind other members of the committee of the existence and needs of non-religious pupils. A range of religious organisations have representatives on SACREs/SACs, and humanists can seek to represent the views of local non-religious people and help to make sure that RE/RVE is fair, relevant, and inclusive. There will be opportunities to help improve the provision of RE/RVE and school assemblies from a humanist perspective. If an ASC is taking place then the aim will be to ensure that the new syllabus is fully inclusive of humanism.

Who would make a good SACRE/SAC rep?

Having some knowledge and/or experience of education and schools (e.g. as a teacher, parent or governor) would be very useful, although not essential.  Experience of engaging in dialogue with people with different beliefs is also an advantage. Residence in the local authority area may be required, although not always.

Where can I find more information?

You will find links to further information about SACREs/SACs and ASCs on our main SACREs/SACs and ASCs page.

How can I help?

Currently we are looking for people to volunteer as humanist SACRE/SAC reps. To find out if we need a rep in your area, please take a look at our map.

If we are looking for a SACRE/SAC rep in your area (or in an area nearby) and you would like to volunteer, then please get in touch with us via sacres@humanists.uk. Please contact us before contacting the SACRE/SAC as sometimes places will have been filled recently though our map might not have been updated yet.

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