How compulsory is RE post 15 years old?

(39 Posts)
fiftyval Wed 13-Mar-13 17:31:58

At a recent parents evening I asked up to what age RE is a compulsory subject. I was told up to 15 years old. DD is currently year 8 at a state school ( non faith) but about to become an academy and will be choosing some of her options in a few week's time ( This school does a 3 year KS4).
She does not want to choose RE ( difficult enough to potentially decide between the more important subjects of History and Geography imo). She has had RE since reception so, frankly, I think her time would be better spent on other things; she is very interested in moral/ethical issues covered in PHSE/citizenship lessons and I would prefer any compulsory timetable time to be spent on those subjects or on her option choices.
If it is true that they have to do RE to 15 , then given that she will be 15 in the September of year 10, would I be able request that her time is spent on other subjects to ensure she gets good grades in the subjects that matter to her? Or would I get absolutely nowhere requesting this?
I personally think it is disgraceful to make RE compulsory when languages or science are not.
I'm sure there are lots of you out there who know more about this and would be grateful for any advice.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Wed 13-Mar-13 17:35:14

I don't know the answer to this but DD is in year 9. She hated RE at Middle school but has loved it this year at Upper school they have been doing Philosphy and Ethics which she's really enjoyed.

Talkinpeace Wed 13-Mar-13 17:43:41

DD dropped it for years 10 and 11
DS will too

titchy Wed 13-Mar-13 18:26:29

I thought it was a compulsory part of the NC to end year 11, along with PE, and PSHCE, although obviously not compulsory to take an exam in it.

BooksandaCuppa Wed 13-Mar-13 18:57:12

RE is compulsory at KS4 (so up to the end of yr 11), so most schools will expect students to take lessons called something like 'non-exam RS'. Some schools, therefore, make the students take a full or half GCSE in RS since they have to be studying it anyway. At our school , they all take non-exam RS and some also do a full GCSE in it, too.

Although RE is not part of the national curriculum, it is a legal requirement that every pupil in key stages 1-4 has one hour of RE a week unless they have been removed by parents for religious reasons. School will have a policy for that happening. In my school we say that parents need to come to school and supervise their students whilst they ate meant to be in
RE if they wish to withdraw them.

5madthings Wed 13-Mar-13 19:10:41

My ds1 has to take a GCSE that co ERS citizenship and RE, he is in yr 9 and its compulsory in all the high schools here.

landofsoapandglory Wed 13-Mar-13 19:11:38

Both of my 2 boys did it to GCSE level. They did they short course over one year at their school, and then do Critical Thinking in Yr 11. It goes deeper than 'just' religion. There is a lot of philosophy and ethics and they learn how to see things from different points of view.

We aren't religious in any way at all, but we saw it as beneficial to our DC.

5madthings Wed 13-Mar-13 19:11:39

Science is also compulsory, a language is not but is recommended.

Marni23 Wed 13-Mar-13 19:45:32

DD chose RS as one of her GCSE options (she's also doing History, but dropped Geography like a hot potato!). She's not in the least religious (neither are we) but it's one of her favourite GCSE subjects as she thinks it is more open-ended than many of her other options and really allows her to think. She also recognises that religion, though irrelevant to us personally, has a great bearing on so much that is happening in the world.

I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss it-and I say that as a rabid atheist.

PHSE is poorly taught in most schools and doesn't lead to exams.
Both of my DSs have done RE, both atheists and both have loved the GCSE curriculum because it encompasses exactly the things you mention that your DD is interested in - morals and ethics.
Having said that , at their school any child who is struggling towards GCSE exams is likely to drop RE in order to concentrate on the core subjects.

raininginbaltimore Wed 13-Mar-13 19:51:33

RE is compulsory up to 18, I some form. Most schools have it up until GCSE and thn deliver it in other ways if at all in sixth form.

Talkinpeace Wed 13-Mar-13 20:05:02

DD is year 10 at a state comp.
She DOES NOT have an RE lesson - nor do more than 70 kids in her year.
When we did the GCSE options, RE came in the same timetable category as PE
but dropping it left more space for Latin
so we did.

I repeat
RE is NOT compulsory at KS4 so long as the parents sign the form

it is not compulsory at all at Sixth form college (KS5)

snickersnacker Wed 13-Mar-13 21:17:35

Talkinpeace - you're quite right that parents can withdraw their child from RE but I'd be surprised if your daughter's school undertakes that administrative burden for every child.

RE is compulsory to KS4 (https://www.gov.uk/national-curriculum/key-stage-3-4) but there's no requirement to sit an exam or to deliver the curriculum through discrete RE lessons. I venture that your daughter's school is perhaps delivering the content via PSHE or similar.

VelvetSpoon Wed 13-Mar-13 21:25:56

RE is compulsory at DS1s (non faith) school to end of Yr 11, and all children have to sit the GCSE in it. This is an inept attempt by the school to try and boost exam passes...they are currently labouring at between 30-40% A-C grades generally at GSCE, which for a school in a suburban middle class area is pretty poor. Hence compulsory RE hmm

BackforGood Wed 13-Mar-13 21:33:12

Agree with most others - it's compulsory to study some RE until the end of Yr11, and, as they are studying it anyway, it's not uncommon for a lot of schools to say everyone takes either a full, or half GCSE in it, as you might as well.
Also agree with everyone that you should find out more about what it entails. IME, most youngsters really enjoy RE at GCSE level - it's go lots to do with ethics and philosophy. It's also a hugely important subject in terms of 'knowledge of the world' (as we'd say in early years), but that becomes so important in studies of history, geography, law, science (ethics), and careers such as journalism, politics, medical areas, teaching, and so many more.

ravenAK Wed 13-Mar-13 21:35:54

We have an hour a week of non-exam RE to the end of year 11.

Jolly useful it is too.

It's used for catching up all our missed/below target Controlled Assessments in core subjects...there's a system whereby you email the teacher to let them know that you need Johnny to sit at the back of your year 8 lesson re-doing his CA on 'Of Mice & Men'.

Once all the slackers & ne'er-do-wells have been rounded up & dragged off by her colleagues, the RE teacher gets to catch up her marking whilst the nice kids, who are all up to date with everything, watch Jesus Christ Superstar.

Similar systems exist for compulsory non-exam ICT (the only difference is that the nice kids are playing games rather than watching JCSS).

BrendaBlethyn Wed 13-Mar-13 21:37:11

our place does the exam - everyone
have an AMAZING pass rate

RS has changed you know - is very about ethics and morals - the kids LOVE IT

BrendaBlethyn Wed 13-Mar-13 21:38:21

fiftyval - you really need to find out more about it - its so useful for developing as an adult up to date with topical issues - giving informed opinions and they just LOVE the chance to talk and debate -

justabigdisco Wed 13-Mar-13 21:38:33

I agree with previous posters who said not to dismiss RE as 'just' learning about religion. I studied it to A level - I was, and remain, a staunch atheist and scientist, but I loved RE and really helped me learn how to think / debate / relate to others.

bigbluebus Wed 13-Mar-13 21:39:42

RE is definitely not a compulsory subject at the large comprehensive school that my DS goes to. He dropped RE at end of Yr9 when he chose his options. That is not to say that there is no religious input - they have visiting ministers from local churches to their assemblies once a month.

OP I think your DD might find RE quite an interesting subject given that she is interested in morals and ethics. We discussed the GCSE curriculum with the RE teacher at the options evening and it certainly seemed very interesting - a far cry from what was taught in RE in my day!!! ALthough DS didn't choose it as he wanted to do triple science so only had 2 option choices left - so went for Geography and History as a MFL is compulsory at his school.

BrendaBlethyn Wed 13-Mar-13 21:40:15

there should be a lesson - your school is breaking the law

Talkinpeace Wed 13-Mar-13 21:46:27

snickersnacker
the form to opt out of RE was part of the GCSE options form : it was made available to every single child (300 in year group) individually

brendablethyn
no they are not

DD gets her ethics from Radio 4, BBC2, BBC4, New Scientist and the Economist : she's not missing out.

BrendaBlethyn Wed 13-Mar-13 21:48:14

In theory, talking, they are - you should only be allowed to withdraw from RE for religious reasons. It shouldn't be done en masse

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