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The Education (Northern Ireland) Order 2006

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This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Statutory requirements relating to curriculum

The curriculum: main requirements

5.—(1) The curriculum for every grant-aided school shall—

(a)include provision for religious education for all registered pupils at the school in accordance with such of the provisions of Article 21 of the 1986 Order as apply in relation to the school; and

(b)in so far as it relates to registered pupils at the school of compulsory school age, meet the requirements of Articles 6 to 9.

(2) In Articles 6 to 9—

(a)references to the curriculum for a grant-aided school are references to that curriculum so far as it relates to registered pupils at the school of compulsory school age; and

(b)references to pupils at such a school are references to registered pupils at the school of compulsory school age.

(3) Nothing in those Articles requiring particular matters to be included in the curriculum of a grant-aided school is to be taken to preclude the inclusion in that curriculum of any other matter.

Areas of learning and contributory elements

6.—(1) The curriculum for every grant-aided school shall include—

(a)in relation to pupils in the foundation stage, the areas of learning set out in column 1 of Part I of Schedule 1;

(b)in relation to pupils in key stages 1 and 2, the areas of learning set out in column 1 of Part II of that Schedule;

(c)in relation to pupils in key stage 3, the areas of learning set out in column 1 of Part III of that Schedule;

(d)in relation to pupils in key stage 4, the areas of learning set out in column 1 of Part IV of that Schedule.

(2) For the purposes of this Part, the elements (“the contributory elements”) which fall within each area of learning listed in column 1 of a Part of Schedule 1 are the elements listed against that area of learning in column 2 of that Part of that Schedule.

(3) In relation to key stage 4, paragraph (2) applies only in relation to the areas of learning called—

(a)Learning for life and work; and

(b)Physical education.

(4) The Department may by order amend Schedule 1.

Minimum content

7.—(1) The curriculum for every grant-aided school shall, in relation to each area of learning applicable to pupils at the school—

(a)include such minimum content as is specified in relation to that area of learning and those pupils under paragraph (2);

(b)require each pupil at the school to be taught the minimum content within that area of learning; and

(c)require that the teaching in that area of learning is consistent with that minimum content.

(2) The Department may by order specify, in relation to an area of learning and pupils in a key stage, such minimum content as it considers appropriate.

(3) The minimum content specified in relation to an area of learning and pupils in a key stage must incorporate knowledge, understanding and skills relevant to each of the contributory elements which fall within that area of learning in relation to pupils in that key stage.

(4) It is the duty of the Department so to exercise the powers conferred by paragraph (2) as—

(a)to set in place as soon as is practicable minimum content in relation to all the areas of learning and each key stage, and

(b)to revise any existing minimum content whenever it considers it necessary or appropriate to do so.

(5) In relation to key stage 4, paragraphs (1) to (4) apply only in relation to the areas of learning called—

(a)Learning for life and work; and

(b)Physical education.

Skills

8.—(1) The curriculum for a grant-aided school must ensure, wholly or mainly through the teaching of the minimum content of areas of learning and religious education, the acquisition and development by pupils of—

(a)the cross-curricular skills; and

(b)any other skills specified by order of the Department.

(2) The cross-curricular skills are—

(a)communication;

(b)using mathematics;

(c)using information and communications technology.

(3) The Department may by order specify, in relation to a cross-curricular skill and pupils in key stages 1, 2, 3 and 4, such levels of progression as it considers appropriate for that skill.

(4) It is the duty of the Department so to exercise the powers conferred by paragraph (3) as—

(a)to set in place as soon as is practicable levels of progression in relation to pupils in key stages 1, 2 and 3; and

(b)to revise any existing levels of progression whenever it considers it necessary or appropriate to do so.

Assessment

9.—(1) The curriculum for every grant-aided school shall require each pupil in each key stage at the school to be assessed in each school year in accordance with such assessment arrangements as are specified in relation to that pupil and that key stage under paragraph (2).

(2) The Department may by order specify, in relation to—

(a)an area of learning;

(b)a cross-curricular skill; and

(c)any other skill specified under Article 8(1)(b),

such assessment arrangements as it considers appropriate for pupils in each key stage.

(3) Assessment arrangements specified under paragraph (2)(b)—

(a)must, in the case of pupils in key stages 1, 2 and 3, and

(b)may in the case of pupils in key stage 4,

require pupils to be assessed by reference to levels of progression specified under Article 8(3).

(4) It is the duty of the Department so to exercise the powers conferred by paragraph (2) as—

(a)to set in place as soon as is practicable assessment arrangements in relation to pupils in the foundation stage and key stages 1, 2 and 3; and

(b)to revise any existing assessment arrangements whenever it considers it necessary or appropriate to do so.

(5) An order under paragraph (2) may impose such duties on the Boards of Governors and principals of grant-aided schools as appear to the Department to be necessary or expedient for the purpose of implementing the assessment arrangements specified by the order.

Orders under Articles 7 to 9: supplementary

10.—(1) This Article applies to any order under—

(a)Article 7(2) (power to specify minimum content);

(b)Article 8(1)(b) (power to specify other skills);

(c)Article 8(3) (power to specify levels of progression); or

(d)Article 9(2) (power to specify assessment arrangements).

(2) The order may, instead of containing the provision to be made, refer to provisions in an approved document and direct that those provisions are to have effect or, as the case may be, are to have effect as amended by the order.

(3) The order may not require—

(a)that any particular period or periods of time should be allocated during any key stage to the teaching of any matter; or

(b)that provision of any particular kind should be made in school timetables for the periods to be allocated to such teaching during any such stage.

(4) The Department may refer its proposal to make the order to NICCEA.

(5) Where a proposal is referred to NICCEA under paragraph (4), NICCEA shall, before such date as the Department may direct—

(a)consult, with regard to the proposal, with such bodies or persons as appear to NICCEA to be concerned; and

(b)make a report to the Department containing—

(i)a summary of the views expressed during the consultations;

(ii)NICCEA’s recommendations as to the proposal; and

(iii)such other advice relating to the proposal as NICCEA thinks fit.

(6) In paragraph (2) “approved document” means a document which has been—

(a)prepared by NICCEA;

(b)approved by the Department; and

(c)published by NICCEA.

(7) NICCEA shall send to the Board of Governors of every grant-aided school which appears to NICCEA to be affected a copy of every document published by it under paragraph (6)(c).

Core syllabus for religious education

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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