Has anyone withdrawn their child from religious worship at school?

(59 Posts)

Not RE. I think RE is an important part of a balanced curriculum smile

Just from being made to actually pray every day.

Wellthen Wed 10-Apr-13 17:38:13

Where has the OP said they are being intergrated into the the rest of the day? I'm sorry but I think you're incorrect, worship might happen at any time. Many schools say grace before a meal. Its not hard for children to simply step out of the room for a minute so therefore the right is not denied.

CountingClouds Wed 10-Apr-13 13:05:37

However every parent has the right to have their children excused from worship in any state-funded school. By integrating religion into other aspects of the school day they are denying parents this legal right.

CountingClouds Wed 10-Apr-13 12:31:53

Just because it isn't 'serious' abuse doesn't mean it isn't abuse.

When men exploit women is it ok as long as its, not to serious?
When you allow some exploitation you open the door to more, where do you draw the line?

A child taught to believe in, for example the bible, can grow up to use it as justification to espouse "Spare the rod, spoil the child"

AmberSocks Wed 10-Apr-13 12:31:22

there is no such thing as a non religious school in this country,all state schools by law have to have some kind of group worship,unfortunately.

AbbyR1973 Wed 10-Apr-13 12:23:59

Of course it isn't abusive. What an entirely ridiculous thing to say. I deal professionally with the awful realities of genuine child abuse unfortunately. What an extraordinarily ignorant statement to make. It takes a lot to make me cross but thats just done it. Grrr. Sorry rant over.

CountingClouds Wed 10-Apr-13 11:11:19

Queen, not wanting to split hairs but ...

You agree it is manipulating, exploiting and coercing children. How is that not abuse?

I personally don't go quite as far as to call it abusive, though I get where you are coming from.

But I certainly think it is manipulative and to some extent exploitative and coercive.

In the same way that minors cannot sign up to a political party and should not be made to chant political slogans or taught political manifestos as truth in schools, I think religion should not hold that place in state funded education.

I think children shouldn't be advertised to, and that includes the state funded/sanctioned advertising of religion in schools.

I know I'm onto a loser there but I'm trying to work out the best way of minimising the impact of it on my children whilst still getting the school education that they are entitled to.

CountingClouds Wed 10-Apr-13 10:38:43

Obviously some people think 'benign' religious views taught as fact in schools isn't abusive. Would you take that opinion for all religious views of all religions can be taught as fact? And who decides what a religious view is? And what point do we draw the line between naturals fact and supernatural opinions? There are many ideas in religion that are abusive to be taught as fact to children.

Wellthen Wed 10-Apr-13 09:51:47

Fair enough, VC schools aren't funded. But really, its not abusive. You're making yourself sound hysterical.

OP you say your daughter doesn't want to say the words and is clear in her own beliefs - so she has been indoctrinated how?

Sorry, you did - I still had last night's version of the page open when I typed that! It was a response to WellThen not you smile

CountingClouds Wed 10-Apr-13 09:06:17

Queen - that is exactly what I said, the church pays zero to the school, its funded entirely by the LA which is 100% tax payers money being used to indoctrinate children.

Erm, actually from the link above it is not the case that the church funds the school. Its 100% LA funded...

CountingClouds Tue 09-Apr-13 23:16:11

The church used to give 10% of the capital repairs to a VC school. They currently give ZERO. Tax payers give 100% of the funding and should not be expected to have their innocent children proselytized to. Its abusive.

Wellthen Tue 09-Apr-13 20:50:38

Does its name have 'c of e' in it? Then it is not a community school. Check the ofsted report online, this will tell you if it is VC or VA. But that will make little difference to the collective worship which is the bit you're concerned about.

And I'll say again: It may well be your opinion that the church shouldn't have any part in your child's education. But they help fund the school so thats just tough. The fact it was your only local option is not their fault. Dare I say I really don't see it as that important, its a tiny part of her day.

I'm now confused as to what sort of school it is confused

It is described on its own website as a 'community primary' but according to the link above a community school cannot have a 'religious character'.

So I am assuming it is in fact a VC school that does have a designated religious character?

cumbrialass - believe me, if I lived an area with a choice of schools, my child would not be at a faith school. She's not there for any hypocritical 'but the other local schools are simply dreadful' reasons, she is there because it is the local school and we don't have the means to transport her to the nearest non-faith school (which is about 6 miles away in a town over the country border, crap public transport links, and massively oversubscribed anyway).

And IMO the church has no right at all to monopolise the education of children and so I will do my best to ensure they keep their proselytising to the absolute minimum whilst my DC are in attendance.

Had it been this Christian when DD first started she would not have gone at all, we'd have stuck with HE, but this is down to the current head who wasn't in the post at the time.

Wellthen Tue 09-Apr-13 19:13:36

Ladylech you took the words out of my mouth. You're right, in worship they have every right to treat it as worship, not education. I am not religious but there is almost always a thread on here, bashing a school because they dare to be explicit about their own ethos. The level of misunderstanding of the requirements of all state schools, including church schools is just incredible. People seem to have very little faith in their children to gradually develop their own opinions over time. Or is that they are only comfortable with their children believing what they believe?

Also, this is slightly off topic but you refer to the trinity as a basic fact. In that it is a core belief this is true but I think it is a very complex concept. I wouldn't be too quick to criticise primary teachers if children don't understand this as they may have made every attempt to explain it. My experience is that children, especially as they get older, begin to apply their own reasoning and knowledge. Their minds close for a short while to other's beliefs as the begin to base their own on reasoning and understanding. As they grow they, hopefully, become more open minded and accept the idea of faith and miracle.

Bear in mind many of these children haven't had the opportunity to discuss exactly what virgin birth means and how God 'fathered' Jesus so they assume it is literal, he really is his Dad. Some of the younger ones don't really know what being someon's father actually entails (in terms of biology). God as the father is a metaphor in a way. He has father like qualities. Son refers to the fact that Jesus was made by God. I wouldnt expect children to fully understand religious symbolism until well into KS3.

LadyLech Tue 09-Apr-13 18:12:51

Apologies Wellthen, I think you and I are actually saying the same thing!

I was doing this on my phone earlier - saw what you had said, checked back to see the comment you were referring back to, and then forgot about the bit where you did actually differentiate between RE lessons and collective worship. I thought your last comment was referring to what can be said in Church schools generally and not specifically collective worship.

Note to self - do not make rushed comments on the iphone when your children are hassling you!

(But it is a bugbear of mine. At my DDs last school, which was a community school she still used to come out saying things like 'Jesus died for our sins' and the assumption that Christianity is true when they're not supposed to be doing that!)

LadyLech Tue 09-Apr-13 17:09:11
LadyLech Tue 09-Apr-13 17:05:50

Wellthen "This is a church school and therefore they are allowed to say that Christianity is true."

This is another misconception. Only schools of a 'religious character' are allowed to do this. Whether the school has a religious character will be determined by its trust deeds. However, generally speaking most VC schools follow the local SACREs and most of these do not work from the presumption of faith. Therefore, the guidance is that teachers must teach "Christians believe..." and not "we believe..." etc. Certainly that has been true for the three local authorities / SACREs I have worked under.

However, for VA schools, they do not have to teach the local SACRE and the RS they teach is determined by the school's trust. Most VA schools teach the local diocesan syllabus. However, even then it is worth noting that according to the 2012 government article on Voluntary and faith schools it says:

"Most VA schools are designated with a religious character. Religious education must be provided in accordance with the school's trust deeds unless parents request the agreed syllabus." So even if you are at a VA school, it does not mean that you have to have denominational teaching. This is significant, particularly if you live rurally like I do and your village school is CofE as are the schools in the next closest 7 villages! You may not get a choice of avoiding a church school if you live somewhere like I do.

Cumbrialass Yes, she does. The conversation I had with my daughter occurred only a couple of weeks ago. She goes to a VA school.

cumbrialass Tue 09-Apr-13 16:39:14

Did you send your daughter to a church school?

LadyLech Tue 09-Apr-13 16:31:07

The quotes relate to the continuing problems in primary schools, not secondaries. Sorry on my phone, and didn't make that clear!

LadyLech Tue 09-Apr-13 16:29:54

Cumbrialass, have you not read the 2013 inquiry into Re "RE: the truth unmasked"?

It notes that the teaching of RE is dramatically improved in secondary schools, but the use of non specialists is still a problem. But the report clearly states in the study over half of lessons was taught "by someone other than the class teacher" a quarter of lessons RE was taught by teaching assistants which the report said "this is unacceptable and in many cases this has a detrimental impact on the quality of RE"
It goes on to note that "about half of subject leaders (in primary schools) lack the expertise or experience to undertake their role effectively."

I know my own daughter has come home saying that God had a son, called Jesus and Mary was his mummy. Really basic facts like that they're getting wrong. No - Jesus is the Son of God, not God's son in that sense! The notion of the Triune God is a basic Christian concept, but I still have to constantly re-teach students that Jesus is God and not merely the offspring of God and Mary! If I had a pound for every time I corrected a student.... It's these basic facts that are being mistaught, unfortunately.

CountingClouds Tue 09-Apr-13 16:26:09

In tax payer funded state schools, nobody should have the right to indoctrinate innocent children. A lot of parents have very little choice over which school their children attend, and for cults, groups and religions to exploit this to gain control over young people minds is awful.

Myliferocks Tue 09-Apr-13 15:53:29

My DC attend a non selective CofE school.
They don't go to the school church services and we've pulled them out of school assemblies.

Wellthen Tue 09-Apr-13 15:51:50

If it is a faith school then during worship they have every right to say that Christian is the only and true way (I do not believe this myself btw so I'm not 'pushing' anything). They do not have this right in RE LESSONS but you havent said she is praying in RE lessons. If you truely believe that her RE only covers Christianity then that does need following up.

It doesnt matter if you do or don't think religion belongs in state schools. This is a church school and therefore they are allowed to say that Christianity is true.

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