Legal context of RE in North Yorkshire 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provision for RE for all registered pupils at the school (from foundation stage to sixth form), *except for those withdrawn by their parents (or withdrawing themselves if they are aged 18 or over) in accordance with Schedule 19 to the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. The DfE have confirmed that,
“the duty to teach RE to all pupils means that it must be taught to each year group”.

Likewise, the funding agreement for academies requires that RE be taught to all pupils. See p15ff in the model funding agreement. Note the references to all pupils at the academy’. As above, the DfE have confirmed that “all pupils” naturally includes pupils in all year groups including foundation stage and years 10 and 11

“It is also the case that, if a school is required by the agreed syllabus to teach a RS qualification at key stage 4 and enters its pupils for this at the end of Year 10, it should still be teaching RE in Year 11. Otherwise, it does not meet the duty to provide RE as part of its curriculum to ‘all registered pupils at the school’”

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A collage of children in a classroom  Description automatically generated Parental right of withdrawal 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.


SACRE’s role in monitoring standards

What activities might we undertake?

Looking at the school website **

Looking at the school RE policy

Talking to Headteacher and subject leader on a visit

What questions might we ask?

For Primary Schools:

Do all pupils participate in RE in all year groups?

Have there been any parental requests to withdraw their children from
RE? how can SACRE support the school with advice on this?

For secondary schools:

Do all pupils participate in RE in all year groups?

How is RE organized in KS4? Do all pupils follow an accredited course?

If not all pupils follow an accredited course how odes the school ensure all pupils have RE on their timetable?

Have there been any parental requests to withdraw their children from
RE? how can SACRE support the school with advice on this?

North Yorkshire SACRE school website proforma


1. School contact details and information

Name and Type of School (e.g community/academy/ VC)

Name of Head / Principal




Staff List – is there an RE lead? who is this?




Is there information on how parents / members of the public can find out more about the school curriculum including RE? (e.g. Email for queries from parents and members of the public






Is there a school policy that includes a statement about RE and parents right to withdraw?






2. RE Curriculum

Content of curriculum in each academic year including RE?

Does the school reference the ‘intent’ for RE in their school or give an overview of what RE is about in their school?

Does the school include an overview of what the RE curriculum is for each year group ( bespoke to the school)?

Is there reference to the Agreed Syllabus or other statutory document?

Is there any mention of RE outside of the classroom – visits, visitors etc?















Calendar/Diary – Any RE events shown?



Social Media links






3.  SMSC / British Values

Is there a published statement

Is there any reference to spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development?

Is there any reference to Fundamental British Values as part of spiritual, moral, social cultural education or contributed to by RE?









4. Secondary Only


KS4 - does it indicate RE as a GCSE course? Which Board?

KS4 - Is there a non-examination RE course offered?

KS5 - does it indicate RE as an A level course? Which Board?

KS5- Is there a non-examination RE course offered?






Exam and assessment results KS4 and 6th Form (if relevant) RE Exam results - Secondary only.   


6th Form





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