A high quality religious education (RE) curriculum is essential to meet the statutory requirement for all maintained schools to teach a broad and balanced curriculum. At the heart of RE in church schools is the teaching of Christianity, rooted in the person and work of Jesus Christ. There is a clear expectation that as inclusive communities, church schools encourage learning about other religions and world views fostering respect for them. Although there is not a National Curriculum for RE, all maintained schools have a statutory duty to teach it. This is equally applicable to academies and free schools as it is to maintained schools. In foundation and voluntary controlled schools with a religious character, RE must be taught according to the Locally Agreed Syllabus unless parents request RE in accordance with the trust deed of the school; and, in voluntary aided schools RE must be taught in accordance with the trust deed.
Parental Right to Withdraw from RE
This was first granted in 1944 when curricular RE was called ‘Religious Instruction’ and carried with it connotations of induction into the Christian faith. RE is very different now – open, broad and exploring a range of religious and non-religious worldviews.
In the UK, parents still have the right to withdraw their children from RE on the grounds that they wish to provide their own RE. This provision will be the parents’ responsibility. This right of withdrawal exists for all pupils in all types of school, including schools with and without a religious designation. Students aged 18 or over have the right to withdraw themselves from RE. Parents also have the right to withdraw their child from part of RE, and can do so without giving any explanation.
If you have any concerns about RE in our school, or your child’s participation please contact the school to make an appointment to discuss,
Please download the attachment below for our full statement of entitlement.