New RE syllabus for Northumberland to include county's rich religious history

Northumberland County Council has agreed a new religious education syllabus that will allow educators to tap into the county’s rich heritage.

By James Robinson
Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 3:42 pm
Holy Island.
Holy Island.

The new guidance, which will be begin to be adopted by schools in September this year, will provide an opportunity for members of the council’s Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE) to create modules and units with a “more local context”.

The council is under a statutory obligation to review the locally agreed syllabus every five years, and must provide a revised plan by this September.

The move was signed off by the council’s cabinet during a meeting on Tuesday.

Coun Guy Renner Thompson, cabinet member for education, said: “By law, a local authority has to have a syllabus for RE. The committee were given a few options as we need a new one by 2022.

“They chose the one that gives the local authority flexibility to remodel some of the modules to give a more local angle. Local schools can incorporate a bit of religious history, of which there is a lot – like Cuthbert, Bede and Hadrian.

“It gives the option for the SACRE committee to write a module that would include Northumbrian religious history.”

Council leader Glen Sanderson added: “This new syllabus will highlight the importance of Northumberland in terms of religious history. I hope that will happen, because we have a very rich Christian history here.”

The cabinet unanimously approved the plan. Teaching staff will be given training in the summer, before the syllabus is rolled out to some schools this September and fully implemented the following year.