Parental right to withdraw children from RE

The right of parents to withdraw their children from religious education (RE) lessons is set out in section 71(1) of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998.

A parent of a student at an academy can request that their child is wholly or partly excused from:

  • Receiving RE given in the school in accordance with the school’s basic curriculum
  • Attendance at religious worship in the school.

Parents who withdraw their child from all or part of the school’s RE curriculum do not have to provide a reason. The school must comply with their request, although a school should ensure parents or carers are informed of this right and are aware of the educational objectives and content of the RE syllabus.

If students are withdrawn from RE, schools have a duty to supervise them, though not to provide additional teaching or to incur extra cost. Students will usually remain on school premises. Parents are not permitted to supervise their child during these lessons.

The rules that apply to withdrawing students from RE lessons do not apply to other lessons that look at religion. Therefore, a student cannot be withdrawn from any National Curriculum subject, even if they teach about religion, other than RE or some aspects of sex and relationship education (RSE).

If you think you would like to discuss withdrawing your child from RE lessons, please contact the school at admin@gvsc.org.uk for the attention of the Head Teacher.