Religious Education

A high quality Religious Education (RE) curriculum is essential to meet the statutory requirement for all maintained schools to teach a broad and balanced curriculum.

Church schools, we believe, should be flagships of excellent practice for RE teaching. We recommend that all Church schools in the Diocese of Canterbury follow the Kent Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education and the Understanding Christianity resource.

RE must have a very high profile within the church school curriculum and learning activities should provide fully for the needs of all learners. Attainment should be high and progress significant in developing an understanding of Christianity and a broad range of religions and world views.

See the Statement of Entitlement (updated March 2019) for guidance on the expectations of RE teaching in Church schools.

The legal requirements for all schools are that:

  1. Religious Education must be provided for all registered pupils in full time education except those withdrawn at their parents’ request (or their own request if aged 18 or over). (DfE Circular 1 / 94, paragraphs 44 & 49, and Non-Statutory Guidance 2010 page 28)
  2. The law relating to Religious Education for pupils who are not yet in key stage 1 is different from that relating to subjects of the National Curriculum. As Religious Education must be taught to ‘all registered pupils at the school’, it includes pupils in reception classes, but not those in nursery classes or play groups
  3. By the same law, Religious Education must be provided for all students in school sixth forms (but not those in Sixth Form Colleges, which must provide Religious Education for all students wishing to receive it)

Special Schools

Special Schools must comply with this requirement by ensuring that every pupil receives Religious Education as far as is practicable.


Academies are required, through their funding agreements, to teach RE:

  • For academies without a religious character, this will be the locally agreed syllabus
  • For academies with a Religious Character, RE will be in line with the requirements of the founding body
  • For specific information, Academies should refer to their Funding Agreement

For more information or support with Religious Education in your school please contact Natalie Ralph (01227 459401). 

Page last updated: Thursday 14th July 2022 1:04 PM
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