To think children shouldn't be forced by law to participate n religious worship?

(21 Posts)
HeroOfFerelden Sun 06-Nov-16 15:34:30

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-37883229

Surely it's ridiculous that children, including older teenagers, are made to take place in worship even though they may not follow that particular religion?

Also:
"The point is that you wouldn't give children the opt-out from mathematics or English."

Firstly, pupils in fifth and sixth year don't have to take maths and English. Secondly, they're not exactly the same as prayer...

gunting Sun 06-Nov-16 15:36:29

Agreed, I think religious studies is a very valuable subject but I wouldn't be comfortable in my DS having to religious observances in school.

ReallyTired Sun 06-Nov-16 15:42:37

Parents have the right to withdraw children from worship in state schools whatever their age is. I think that six formers can opt themselves out already. The question is at what age should children be allowed to decide for themselves whether they take part in worship. Most religions see thirteen year olds as adults so it would make sense for key stage 4 children to have complete religious freedom.

I think that private schools should be forced to give children of sixth form school age the right to opt out of worship including private faith schools. Possibly such religious freedom should be given to all secondary school kids.

AllPowerfulLizardPerson Sun 06-Nov-16 15:45:49

Opting out of assembly (the day to day name for the act of collective worship) is not the same as opting out of a lesson.

And unless/until people are voting with their feet, it won't change.

No one is forced to take part. But if you won't exercise your opt-out, it will happen by default. Up to the family to use this choice, or not.

But wrong to say anyone is 'forced' as that simply not what the law says.

ReallyTired Sun 06-Nov-16 16:02:10

I think that religious education should be complusory up to key stage 3, but the subject needs to be taught as "some people believe... " and not taught as "we believe... "

It should not be an option not to learn about other faiths. It's also important to realise that some people have no belief in God/s. Not every one has the same beliefs and sometimes it's best to agree to disagree.

noeffingidea Sun 06-Nov-16 16:17:14

Religious studies should be taught as how they pertain to other subjects - history, sociology, literature, art, etc so it probably does need to be compulsory to a certain level.
As for acts of worship there is no need or place for these in schools other than voluntary groups or clubs during break/dinner times.

PerspicaciaTick Sun 06-Nov-16 16:19:30

I don't think any law can control what happens inside people's heads. I've sat through many religious services, never have I done any worshipping.

gunting Sun 06-Nov-16 16:32:10

When I did GCSE religious studies we were given a topic like abortion or marriage and asked to give what Muslims/christians/catholic/Jews think about that particular topic.

noeffingidea Sun 06-Nov-16 17:16:44

perspicacia there's no need to do that in school, though. It's a pointless waste of time, especially if a proportion of the kids aren't paying any attention or are thinking of other things. There is freedom of religion in the UK, so plenty of time and opportunity to worship without taking time out of the school day.

PerspicaciaTick Mon 07-Nov-16 08:37:42

I agree.
But learning to observe without participating is a useful skill.

exexpat Mon 07-Nov-16 08:43:50

I spent all of my secondary school years standing with arms folded and mouth firmly shut during hymns, prayers etc in daily assembly, until I got to sixth form and chose to 'opt out' of assemblies by hiding in the girls' toilets every day...

30+ years later I still resent having religious observance imposed on me, and it is ridiculous that sixth formers at the very least cannot make their own decisions rather than having to get their parents to agree.

exexpat Mon 07-Nov-16 08:46:12

I have no problem with RE, by the way - I think it is important to learn about religion, as it has so much impact on history, politics, culture etc - but there is a huge difference between teaching about something in schools and expecting children to participate in religious worship.

LunaLoveg00d Mon 07-Nov-16 08:50:39

I think to be honest that this is a mountain out of a molehill. My 13 year old is in a state secondary school in Scotland. He does "Religious and Moral Education with Ethics" which is the proper subject with all sorts of interesting moral debates and no religious instruction, and they have an OCCASIONAL assembly. Around once every 3 - 4 weeks. Sometimes, the local minister (Church of Scotland) comes to the assembly. Perhaps once a term. Assembly time is 10 - 20 minutes - time for the Head to tell them about stuff happening in school, celebrate achievement, pass on plans for the future. And then perhaps, if the minister is there, he'll say a few words which according to my child are mainly along the lines of being a good citizen, loving one another and trying your hardest. They're not giving the hard sell on Christianity and are inclusive to all religions represented in the school - Muslims, Hindus or Sikhs aren't going to object to their kids being told about respect.

So in effect the minister speaks to the kids for 5 or 10 minutes once a term. As an atheist I find it very hard to get worked up about that.

CoteDAzur Mon 07-Nov-16 08:52:17

"learning to observe without participating is a useful skill"

Really? Which are the frequent and important occasions where one would want to observe without participating, something she finds completely nonsensical?

Surely you wouldn't have to practice for the few random incidents in life when that would actually happen. You would just sit there and think of something else. Hardly an activity one needs to get good at through many years of being forced to sit through collective religious worship.

noeffingidea Mon 07-Nov-16 13:22:15

luna not all schools keep it to once every 3 months, though. Some seem to have some kind of religious observance daily, or even intergrate into the days activities, eg. saying grace. Or collecting for Samaritans purse, or having evangelical visitors, without being upfront about it. A lot of it depends on the head.

ZoeTurtle Mon 07-Nov-16 13:23:59

YANBU

Schools are no place for religion - that's between a child and their parents, or the child themselves when they're old enough. At no age is it appropriate.

I find it really bizarre that this goes on in 2016.

MaryTheCanary Mon 07-Nov-16 13:32:21

British education really is the most pathetic muddle when it comes to religion.

We have a state religion.... that not many people actually practice and fewer still people are passionate about. And we have "acts of worship in school".... in a half-arsed kind of way. And we teach RE, but we don't seem to be able to decide whether schools are allowed to prioritize particular religions. And we have faith schools... but not all schools.... who can select most of their kids based on religion.... but not all of them.... and so on.

Seriously---get all worship out of state schools, and require all schools to teach content-rich RE (based on a centrally-mandated curriculum and with equal time devoted to all the major religions) which is about comparing and learning about different religions and NOT about preaching any of them. It shouldn't be that hard.

redexpat Mon 07-Nov-16 14:18:53

Bloody well said Mary

Redpony1 Mon 07-Nov-16 15:52:13

*YANBU

Schools are no place for religion - that's between a child and their parents, or the child themselves when they're old enough. At no age is it appropriate.

I find it really bizarre that this goes on in 2016.*

I agree Zoe
I opted out of RE in secondary school (1995-2000), i used my time to do my homework from other subjects in the library

HeCantBeSerious Mon 07-Nov-16 16:43:10

Parents have the right to withdraw children from worship in state schools whatever their age is.

Why should we have to? Why can't the parents who want their children actively observing a religion do it in their own time?

Currently on a mission to get the daily praying out of DC's school. It's not education, it's instruction and it has no place in today's non-faith schools.

HeCantBeSerious Mon 07-Nov-16 16:44:47

Seriously---get all worship out of state schools, and require all schools to teach content-rich RE (based on a centrally-mandated curriculum and with equal time devoted to all the major religions) which is about comparing and learning about different religions and NOT about preaching any of them. It shouldn't be that hard.

I believe the curriculum is changing to include all belief systems including none. This subject should deliver critical thinking skills, which are currently in pretty short supply. angry

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