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.

Applies to England



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, with English and maths coming into force for all year groups from September 2016.

The exception is the science curriculum which came into force for year 10 pupils in September 2016, and applies to year 11 pupils from 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.

Published 11 September 2013
Last updated 2 December 2014 + show all updates
  1. Updated national curriculum framework with key stage 4 science programme of study.

  2. Added key stage 4 programmes of study for English and mathematics.

  3. First published.