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Woodlands Infant & Nursery School

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Woodlands Infant & Nursery School

Religious Education the right to withdraw

Religion and belief have become more visible in public life in recent years, making it important that all pupils should have an opportunity to engage in RE. However, the parent of a pupil at a community, foundation or voluntary school (or pupils themselves if they are aged 18 or over) may request that they be excused from all or part of the religious education (RE) provided. 


Parents who wish to withdraw their children from RE should be aware of its aims and what is covered in the RE curriculum and that they are given the opportunity to discuss this if they wish. It should be made clear whether the withdrawal is from the whole RE curriculum or specific parts of it. No reasons need be given


Important - limitations to withdraw

  • If pupils are withdrawn from RE, schools have a duty to supervise them, though not to provide additional teaching.  A pupil may be required to work in another area of the school, such as library or break out area. 
  • Whilst parents or carers have a right to withdraw children from RE, they should note that children may also encounter religions and beliefs and wider aspects of faith in other areas of the curriculum from which there is no right of withdrawal.
  • On occasion, spontaneous questions about religious matters are raised by pupils or issues related to religion arise in other curriculum subjects such as history or citizenship (PSHE)  For example, schools promote community cohesion and help pupils to understand ideas about identity and diversity, feelings and emotions within both religious and non-religious contexts. 


Managing the Right of Withdrawal  


If pupils are withdrawn from RE, schools have a duty to supervise them, though not to provide additional teaching or to incur extra cost. Pupils will usually remain on school premises where it is feasible and appropriate.


Where a request for withdrawal is made, the school must comply and excuse the pupil until the request is rescinded. Though not legally required, it is good practice for a head teacher to invite parents to discuss their written request. 


(Section 71(3), School Standards and Framework Act 1998).

In Our Federation

Swipe left and right to find contact details

  • Birchwood
    Junior School

    01522 800971
    Larchwood Crescent,
    Lincoln, LN6 0NL
    View School Website
  • The Lancaster

    01522 685078
    82 Jasmin Road,
    Lincoln, LN6 0QQ
    View School Website
  • Forest Skies

    01522 800971
    Larchwood Crescent,
    Lincoln, LN6 0NL
    View Federation Website


Woodlands Infants
& Nursery School

01522 683557
Woodlands Infants & Nursery School,
Whitethorn Grove, Birchwood, Lincoln, LN6 0PF