Curriculum requirements: academies

If you're reviewing or updating your curriculum, find out what you need to cover to stay compliant with requirements and meet DfE expectations.

Last reviewed on 13 July 2023
Ref: 43579
  1. Your trust is responsible for the curriculum in your school
  2. Your Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) provision
  3. Your Key Stage (KS) 1 and 2 provision
  4. You must teach RE and RHE
  5. You also need to provide for your pupils' SMSC development
  6. It's likely your funding agreement will also include these requirements
  7. National tests are based on the National Curriculum
  8. Next steps

Your trust is responsible for the curriculum in your school

It must make sure it's "balanced and broadly based" and:

  • Promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school, and of society
  • Prepares pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life

This is set out in section 1A of the Academies Act 2010 and section 2.1 of the National Curriculum framework.

There are some other requirements and expectations too, which we explain below.

  • Check your funding agreement to see what it says about curriculum in your trust
  • Ask your trust for more information or if you're unsure of anything in the agreement

You can see an example of how curriculum is covered in the DfE's model funding agreements:

  • For multi-academy trusts (MATs), in the 'master academy and free school finding agreement' from section 2.21
  • For single academies, in the 'mainstream: single funding agreement' from section 2.41

Your Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) provision

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