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Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Act 2021

Section 61 - Curriculum requirement: Religion, Values and Ethics

137.This section requires the head teacher of a maintained school to provide teaching and learning in RVE where a pupil above compulsory school age has requested it. It also requires the governing body to exercise its functions with a view to ensuring that this teaching and learning is provided if requested.

138.Sub-section (3) requires the teaching and learning provided under this section to reflect the fact that religious traditions in Wales are mainly Christian, but also to take account of other (non-Christian) principal religions in Wales. The teaching and learning must also reflect the fact that a range of non-religious philosophical convictions (such as atheism) are held in Wales. This approach reflects the requirements of the European Convention on Human Rights (the “ECHR”).

139.Section 61 of the Act does not prevent a school from imposing a requirement that all pupils in its sixth form undertake compulsory RVE classes; nor does it prevent a school that adopts this approach from providing compulsory sixth form RVE that accords with the school’s trust deeds, or the tenets of its religion, or religious denomination (“denominational RVE”). The content of such denominational RVE remains a matter for the school.

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