The 2002 Education Act identifies a basic curriculum consisting of the National Curriculum and religious education.
The minimum time required to teach the syllabus in sufficient depth and breadth is provided below. This is a minimum and should not be taken as a recommendation. It refers to the delivery of discrete Religious Education. Failure to provide the following curriculum time will mean that the requirements of the syllabus are not being met1.
- Foundation Stage: 36 hours per year
- Key Stage 1: 36 hours per year
- Key Stage 2: 45 hours per year
- Key Stage 3: 45 hours per year
- Key Stage 4: 40 hours per year
- For post-16 students2 in full-time education at community and voluntary controlled schools: 10 hours per year
In following this agreed syllabus, schools have the flexibility to deliver RE through a range of curricular models. In practice this means that RE might be taught discretely at some points during the school year as part of the weekly timetable, but at other times, schools might decide to include RE on ‘collapsed timetable’ days.
If schools decide to deliver the subject through cross curricular themes, the discrete provision of RE needs to be identifiable and its time allocation explicit. The school needs to ensure that the aims of the AMV syllabus are being met. While SACRE values the important role of PSHE, Citizenship and Collective worship and acknowledge that they can complement RE; their aims and goals are distinct from those of RE in the AMV syllabus. They cannot be used as a substitute Religious Education.
Community and Voluntary Controlled schools in England must provide Religious Education by following the Locally Agreed Syllabus of that Local Authority. All academies are required, through their funding agreements, to teach RE. For academies without a religious character, this will be the local agreed syllabus.