The national curriculum states the legal requirement that:
'Every state-funded school must offer a curriculum which is balanced and broadly based, and which:
All state schools ... must teach religious education ... '.
(National Curriculum in England: Framework Document, DfE, September 2013, p.4)
Although there is not a National Curriculum for RE, all maintained schools must follow the National Curriculum requirements to teach a broad and balanced curriculum, which includes RE. All maintained schools therefore have a statutory duty to teach RE. Academies and free schools are contractually required through the terms of their funding agreement to make provision for the teaching of RE.
The RE curriculum is determined by the local Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE), which is responsible for producing the locally agreed syllabus for RE. Agreed Syllabuses used in schools (maintained or academy), which are not designated with a religious character must ‘reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian, while taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain’. Schools with a religious designation may prioritise one religion in their RE curriculum, but all schools must recognise diverse religions and systems of belief in the UK both locally and nationally.
In brief, legislation requires that:
RE must be included in the curriculum for all registered pupils, including all pupils in reception classes and sixth form, but excluding:
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