RE is a statutory part of the basic curriculum and all maintained schools by law and academies by virtue of their funding agreement must provide RE for all children attending school.
Parents have the right to withdraw their child from all or any part of RE. This includes parents whose children attend a faith school. If pupils are withdrawn from RE, schools have a duty to supervise them, though not to provide additional or alternative teaching.
RE is the only statutory subject that is not part of the National Curriculum.
Community schools and voluntary controlled faith schools follow a locally agreed syllabus drawn up by local committees (known as Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education, or SACRE) comprising of teachers, local churches, faith groups and the local authority.
In voluntary aided faith schools the syllabus is a matter for the governing body to decide – and may be of denominational character. This means that a significant number