New GCSE subject content for Religious StudiesIn February 2015, following a period of public consultation, the Department for Education (DFE) published a document setting out the revised content upon which examining bodies must base their syllabuses for GCSE Religious Studies, including content for the study of Buddhism. (See p.9.)

Religious Studies GCSE subject content February 2015 (pdf)

This followed negotiation with the DFE by the Religious Education Council of England and Wales (REC) to secure a review of the subject at examination level. This means that students wishing to study Buddhism at GCSE will continue to be able do so, which might well otherwise not have been the case.

The revision process began with the DFE's publication of a draft document, inviting public comment. Feedback having been received, it was given to the relevant faith organisations in membership of the REC to determine the content for each faith; and considerable effort was made to ensure representation of a variety of Buddhist traditions and emphases. However, the DFE had the final say.

Awarding Organisations (formerly known as Examination Boards) must now convene their subject experts to write syllabuses and examination papers based on this content.