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The Education (Northern Ireland) Order 2006

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Core syllabus for religious education

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11.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2), the Department may by order specify a core syllabus for the teaching of religious education in grant-aided schools, that is to say a syllabus which—

(a)sets out certain core matters, skills and processes which are to be included in the teaching of religious education to pupils in such schools, but does not prevent or restrict the inclusion of any other matter, skill or process in that teaching; and

(b)is such that the teaching in a controlled school (other than a controlled integrated school) of any of the matters, skills or processes set out in that syllabus would not contravene Article 21(2) of the 1986 Order.

(2) The Department shall not specify a core syllabus under paragraph (1) unless a draft of that syllabus—

(a)was prepared by a group of persons (“the drafting group”) appearing to the Department to be persons having an interest in the teaching of religious education in grant-aided schools;

(b)was published, in accordance with directions given by the Department, together with a notice inviting representations to be made before a specified date not being less than four weeks from the date of publication;

(c)was revised, if necessary, by the drafting group, after considering all representations made in accordance with the notice mentioned in sub-paragraph (b); and

(d)was submitted to the Department by the drafting group together with—

(i)a report by that group on the nature of representations made in accordance with the notice mentioned in sub-paragraph (b) and on the extent to which, and the manner in which, account has been taken of those representations in the draft submitted to the Department; and

(ii)any other information which the Department may request.

(3) Paragraphs (1) and (2) apply with appropriate modifications to amendments to, or a revision of, an existing core syllabus.

(4) An order under paragraph (1) may, instead of containing the provisions to be made, refer to provisions in a document published as specified in the order and direct that those provisions are to have effect or, as the case may be, are to have effect as amended by the order.

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