Good RE is essential for living well in the 21st century.
It encourages students to explore a range of beliefs and values, asking students to reflect on big questions about identity, meaning and morality and connecting these with the attitudes they hold and the decisions they make.
Religious Education provides a context for understanding the culture of the UK: the role faith has played historically in shaping laws and social values, and the part it still plays in today’s society.
And it supports wider aims of community cohesion, as students learn to understand and appreciate ideas, beliefs and practices which may be very different from their own.
As such, RE holds a unique place in the curriculum. Schools, academies and free schools, without exception, are required to teach Religious Education to students in all years, from reception to Year 13.
There is no national curriculum for RE. Instead, maintained schools without a particular faith designation follow the locally agreed syllabus. Academies without a faith designation are not obliged to follow this, but may choose to adopt it. (Schools and academies with a faith designation teach RE according to the tenets of their particular faith.)
As with Collective Worship, parents have the right to withdraw their children from Religious Education. For more information on this and other legalities around RE, click here.