Statutory guidance

National curriculum in England: framework for key stages 1 to 4

The full national curriculum framework for key stages 1 to 4, including programmes of study and attainment targets.


This is the statutory national curriculum framework. It is issued by law; you must follow it unless there’s a good reason not to. The framework includes the programmes of study for all subjects for key stages 1 to 4.

The national curriculum sets out the programmes of study and attainment targets for all subjects at all 4 key stages.

All local-authority-maintained schools in England must teach these programmes of study.

The majority of this national curriculum was introduced in September 2014. The exceptions are English, mathematics and science.

English and mathematics came into force for pupils in years 2, 6 and 10 in September 2015, and will apply to pupils in year 11 from September 2016.

The science curriculum will come into force for year 10 pupils in September 2016, and year 11 pupils in September 2017.

Separate versions containing just the primary (key stages 1 to 2) and secondary (key stages 3 to 4) curriculums are also available.

The HTML version covers chapters 1 to 7 of the national curriculum framework document. These set out:

  • contextual information about the school curriculum and the statutory national curriculum
  • statements on inclusion and the development of pupils’ competence in numeracy and mathematics, language and literacy

Separate individual programmes of study are available for:

See the National Archives website for information about the pre-2014 primary and secondary curriculums.