The Right of Withdrawal from Religious Education:
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If pupils are withdrawn from RE, schools have a duty to supervise them, though not to provide additional teaching or to incur extra cost.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Where a request for withdrawal is made, the school must comply and excuse the pupil until the request is rescinded.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).