New chapter for Religious Education in Cambridgeshire

Changes will be made to the teaching of Religious Education (RE) in Cambridgeshire from September when a new, more concise syllabus is brought in.

RE is required to be taught in all schools, and all local authorities are required to produce a local agreed syllabus

Cambridgeshire County Council’s SACRE (Standing Advisory Council Religious Education) has been working in partnership with Northamptonshire County Council, Rutland County Council and Peterborough City Council’s SACREs over the last 15 months to produce the new Agreed Syllabus which covers all major religions and a secular world view (Humanism).

The new syllabus is shorter and more concise than its predecessor giving schools more flexibility on what to teach.

Representatives of local faith groups and world views, together with teachers in local schools, have worked together to produce the syllabus, including support materials, progression documents and assessment tools.

The new Agreed Syllabus was launched on May 3 as part of the Making a Difference RE Conference in Huntingdon for RE teachers across the four areas ahead of its introduction into schools from September 2018.

Keynote speeches were given by Kathryn Wright, a freelance RE consultant and education adviser for Norwich Diocese and Janet Orchards, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Bristol for the School of Education.

Four Cambridgeshire speakers including Amy Jones, Head of RE at The King’s School Peterborough, Dr Shirley Hall, retired RE education adviser for the Ely of Diocese, and Shahla Suleiman, senior lecturer at Cambridge University’s Centre of Islamic Studies were among 14 to lead workshops throughout the day.

Cllr Simon Bywater, Cambridgeshire County Council’s Chairman of the Children and Young People Committee, said: “We are thrilled to be launching the new RE syllabus which is being introduced into the school curriculum from September. Working in partnership with three other local authorities is a new approach for us and means that we can develop innovative ways of working, reduce costs and increase efficiency.

“With the syllabus being shorter and more concise, schools will have the freedom to plan a curriculum which is appropriate for their pupils yet still maintaining the integrity of RE as an important subject and promoting religious literacy. The good teaching of RE is a vital part of education generally and makes a unique contribution to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils and supports wider community cohesion.”

The syllabus has been approved by Peterborough, Northamptonshire and Rutland Councils and will be considered by Cambridgeshire County Council at the Children and Young People Committee on 22 May.

For more information about the Cambridgeshire SACRE, visit


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