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Is RE compulsory

(36 Posts)
Lifeisfun91 Thu 27-Nov-14 11:56:31

I am confused and not happy my DD not doing an RE lesson. She is in yr 9 mainstream; is already doing GSCE options. RE was a GCSE option but she didn�t want to do a full GCSE in it. I am surprised that in yr 9 there is not an RE lesson at all for the kids that did not take the option. Also it is the same for I.T; no lesson in this either now!
I thought RE was compulsory, or can school get around this by stating they are covering RE in other lessons some how. The school in the passed has done RE, but this year has been dropped. There is an option to select to do a half GCSE in yr 11.
Does anyone know what the rules are?

CrimboHornedSnowflake Thu 27-Nov-14 11:58:45

Yes it is including at KS4, before going in just be sure the school hasn't changed the name, a lot of schools are now calling it B&V (beliefs and values) or P&E (philosophy and ethics) to get over the preconceptions about RE as a subject.

DuelingFanjo Thu 27-Nov-14 11:59:20

I don't think RE is compulsory after a certain time, the act of worship would be covered in morning assembly.

Could you get her religious teaching covered by your church of choice?

AnnoyedByAlfieBear Thu 27-Nov-14 11:59:58

I'm pretty sure RE is not compulsory. Even when lessons are time tabled, you are able to opt out.

DuelingFanjo Thu 27-Nov-14 12:01:10

wikpedia says it is compulsory?!?

DuelingFanjo Thu 27-Nov-14 12:02:20 say -

Other compulsory subjects
Children must also study:

careers education (year 9 onwards)
sex and relationships education (year 7 onwards)
religious education (RE)
They may not have to take exams in these subjects.

DuelingFanjo Thu 27-Nov-14 12:02:44

sorry - me again:

Schools have to teach RE but parents can withdraw their children for all or part of the lessons. Pupils can choose to withdraw themselves once they’re 18.

Local councils are responsible for deciding the RE syllabus, but faith schools and academies can set their own.

janinlondon Thu 27-Nov-14 12:06:35

That is under the national curriculum. Not all schools follow the national curriculum.

Yangsun Thu 27-Nov-14 12:08:36

Yes it is compulsory for it to be taught in state schools but not for it to be examined +(so it doesn't have to be a GCSE). As crimbo said it may not be called that and some schools do a sort of combined pshe, citizenship and RE lesson which makes sure they have ticked the boxes for all three requirements. It is up to individual schools how they deliver this requirement so it is sometimes the case that schools require all pupils to take GCSE or a short course GCSE but others have them as options with the core covered for those who don't do it.

ErrolTheDragon Thu 27-Nov-14 12:08:54

RE is compulsory, but they don't have to do very much of it - DD's school they alternate it with citizenship/PSHE/Careers. Are you sure that your DD isn't doing something like this - they might do it in blocks so maybe she'll be doing some later in the year.

As to IT, I think it may be assumed that they have to use computers for so much of their coursework in other subjects that they don't need to do it as a separate thing - it would be a waste of time for a lot of kids.

Lifeisfun91 Thu 27-Nov-14 13:53:19

Hi, there is no time in her timetable for citizenship/PSHE/Careers/RE. They have 2 assemblies a week but due to DD having complex learning difficulties she does not attend these, nor the longer registation sessions as she does other support.

CrimboHornedSnowflake Thu 27-Nov-14 20:37:16

Assemblies/collective worship do not, and should not, be classed as the provision for RE. All pupils should have a timetabled session of RE that follows the locally agreed syllabus or Trust equivalent for VA/Free schools.

Lifeisfun91 Thu 27-Nov-14 20:54:04

Thanks for your replies. Not sure what I can do about it though!

overthemill Thu 27-Nov-14 20:58:01

Studying RE is compulsory at state schools but other schools eg the evil academies can opt out of the national curriculum. Some schools force those kids who don't choose RE as a humanities gcse to do a 'half' gcse in it as they feel it's a waste if teaching time to not do so. All pupils can opt out (parents for under 18s) if they do not wish to study it so fit religious/atheism reasons.

TalkinPeace Thu 27-Nov-14 21:11:02


FFS how many times in one week do I have to post the links.
Its nothing to do with Academies or any of that shite

Parents can opt kids out of RE at any time
but schools generally do not encourage it UNTIL GCSE
when some schools add the opt out form to the options form to make RE effectively optional

completely legal, always has been

Dancingyogi Thu 27-Nov-14 21:15:47

I thought pupils could withdraw themselves at 16. I refused to attend bible study in 6th form and the school changed me to social studies instead, without very much fuss from them - which at the time I was quite surprised by.

TalkinPeace Thu 27-Nov-14 21:20:50

6th form RE is no longer compulsory in any state school

RufusTheReindeer Thu 27-Nov-14 21:23:47

RE is not compulsory at my children's school from year 10

It is not covered in the PDL class

I know of other schools where it is compulsory

ErrolTheDragon Thu 27-Nov-14 21:24:15

It's compulsory for the school to provide it; it's not compulsory for each child to do it. In the context of the OP's query the former seems to be the issue.

It's unlikely that the school doesn't have some sort of policy on this. The OP should perhaps just ask what it is.

ErrolTheDragon Thu 27-Nov-14 21:27:53

Was RE ever compulsory for the 6th form?(given that at the time of the act, the majority of pupils left school at 16). Certainly didn't do any back in the 70s (come to think, I don't remember doing any during my O-level years either .... pre-Ofsted probably a lot more schools ignored what was already an old law)

RufusTheReindeer Thu 27-Nov-14 21:29:11


I certainly didn't do RE during my O levels and my eldest doesn't now, so it probably is/was ignored

TalkinPeace Thu 27-Nov-14 21:32:53

I went to private school : we did it up until GCE then dropped it unless wanting to do the O level
nobody did it at A level that I remember

overthemill Thu 27-Nov-14 23:13:48

Talkinpeace, this is what the government department responsible for education states in guide for parents. Please read it and internalise:

Religious education
Schools have to teach RE but parents can withdraw their children for all or part of the lessons. Pupils can choose to withdraw themselves once they’re 18.

Local councils are responsible for deciding the RE syllabus, but faith schools and academies can set their own.

lecherslady Fri 28-Nov-14 01:26:11


FFS how many times in one week do I have to post the links."

Yes it is.

It is compulsory / there is a legal entitlement for schools to provide Religious Education. This is stated in the 1944 education act and reinforced in the 1988 education act. The government non stat guidance on RE from 2010 also states:

"The legal basis of RE in the curriculum of maintained schools
Every maintained school in England must provide a basic curriculum (RE, sex education and the National Curriculum). This includes provision for RE for all registered pupils at the school (including those in the sixth form), except for those withdrawn by their parents (or withdrawing themselves if they are aged 18 or over) in accordance with Schedule 19 to the School Standards and Framework Act 1998."

This covers all type of schools including academies and free schools as the 2013 Religious Education Council report states:

"RE is a statutory subject of the school curriculum of maintained schools. Academies and free schools are contractually required through the terms of their funding to make provision for the teaching of RE to all pupils on the school roll."

Now RE is part of the basic curriculum (but has never been part of the national curriculum). There is guidance given as to how much RE should be taught in schools (5% of curriculum time at KS4), but this does not have to be done on a weekly basis, and at KS4 does not have to be an examined course. Therefore, schools can opt to simply do a weekly non examined course in RE and that is legal. The school can also choose to combine RE with other subjects (such as part of a humanities course, or with PSHE) or it could do this through special off timetable days whereby students do not follow their timetable for the day, but instead follow a Religious Education programme for the day. This would all fulfil the legal obligation. The 2010 OFSTED document transforming Religious Education notes that:

"27.Non-accredited courses took a variety of forms. In some schools, for example, RE formed part of a carousel of units, together with personal, social, health, and economic education and citizenship. In other schools, the normal timetable would be suspended from time to time and a whole day devoted to considering aspects of religion and belief. These days were particularly successful when they were led by a team of teachers, who were committed to using high quality resources, a variety of media sources and outside speakers to engage students in lively discussion."

However, over the past few years, various changes (such as the non inclusion of RE in the EBACC) has meant that curriculum time given to RE has been squeezed and lots of schools are no longer fulfilling their legal obligation. There are lots of reports about this.

Of course, parents have the right to withdraw their children from RE, and this is enshrined in law and has been since 1944.

So, to get back to the OP.

If the school is not providing any form of RE at KS4, then it is breaking its legal obligation. However, before you complain I would check that it is not fulfilling that requirement through another course or through special RE days.

Collective Worship is something completely different, and cannot form the basis of RE.

TalkinPeace Fri 28-Nov-14 07:28:21

Please read my multiple, multiple posts on this subject.

At many, many schools RE is one of the GCSE options.
Those who want to take it, take it
Those who do not want to take it take other subjects

Long before Gove
totally legal

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