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to want my child to be free of religion at school?

(230 Posts)
cherryade8 Sat 18-May-13 14:21:15

I've startedlooking at schools and attending open days for my dd. Even the supposedly secular schools teach about religion and seen to have display boards with posters and pupils work explaining the intricacies of each religion.

I'm not religious and don't wish dd to be exposed to more than a cursory explanation of religion at school. What people choose to teach their children outside of school is none of my business, why does the curriculum seem to want to force it on children? It seems to be the case in both state and private schools.


FannyMcNally Sat 18-May-13 14:25:17

RE is part of the NC. I agree that actual worshipping doesn't belong in schools but it is important to learn about different religions.

mikkii Sat 18-May-13 14:25:31

Since this is covered in the national curriculum YABU. Perhaps you can find a non religious private school, I believe they do not have to cover the national curriculum.

Isn't there a provision allowing you to withdraw children from RE? Or is that only sex ed?

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Sat 18-May-13 14:26:27

YANBU to not want your child to be involved in collective worship etc but YABU to not want her to be taught about religion at all. It is a massive part of culture and to go into adulthood without understanding it would make her poorer.

I sent my dcs to a Catholic school because I specifically wanted a faith based education and I am fortunate enough to live in a part of the country where it's almost unheard of not to get into your first preference school but I think the system sucks for parents who want a secular education, especially those in rural areas where all local schools are CofE.

Sparhawk Sat 18-May-13 14:27:28

YANBU. Legally all schools have to include daily worship:

'Collective Worship is legally required to take place every school day and ‘shall be wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character’ (1988 Education Act).'

I want my DD to learn about religions, I don't wish for her to indoctrinated into one or forced to worship.

SuffolkNWhat Sat 18-May-13 14:29:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SuffolkNWhat Sat 18-May-13 14:30:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Remotecontrolduck Sat 18-May-13 14:30:52


She needs to learn about all religions I think as it won't do her much good in the long run to be unaware, and could mean her opinions about different faiths will come from the media (eg all Muslims are terrorists), with no knowledge of what people actually believe.

You're right about the whole collective worship/focus on christianity though.

Weegiemum Sat 18-May-13 14:30:57

I'm a Christian.

I don't want my children 'worshipping' in school (mainly as its done very, vey badly) but very pleased they learn about religion!

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Sat 18-May-13 14:32:48

Cherryade - I would argue that religions have formed the basis for so much of world culture and history, that anyone who does not understand those religions will be severely handicapped in understanding that culture and history.

I would also suggest that, since for some people religion is an important and central part of their lives, an understanding of religions makes understanding and relating to these people much easier.

ivykaty44 Sat 18-May-13 14:34:08

there are no secular schools in the UK

Take a look at the humanist society webpage for a variety of information and help

greenformica Sat 18-May-13 14:34:30

It's all part of understanding different people and cultures, I can't see the problem.

Mumsyblouse Sat 18-May-13 14:35:00

cherryade8 so you want your child to be ignorant of one of the key driving forces of people's lives, beliefs and actions (including wars, much of history, current politics)? Good luck in finding a school that doesn't teach any RE!

Sparhawk Sat 18-May-13 14:36:38

After re-reading what you said I actually think YABU. I can understand not wanting your child to take part in collective worship but I do think learning about religion is important.

Sirzy Sat 18-May-13 14:37:11

Without being taught about different religions how are children (and the adults they grow into) supposed to learn to tolerate and respect others and their religious and cultural differences?

I am a Christian but I am not a big fan of collective worship in schools but teaching ABOUT religions is a vital part of the curriculum, moreso than ever given the multicultural nature of the country.

ShadeofViolet Sat 18-May-13 14:40:16

Your attitude is very odd OP.

I doubt you will find anywhere that doesnt teach about the different religions in any way. Why do you want it to kept a secret?

I think that finding a secondary school will be even harder.

FannyMcNally Sat 18-May-13 14:41:50

I think if we took away the option of withdrawing from RE lessons (but leaving the option to withdraw from worshipping) then the difference would be a lot clearer. I think some people assume RE lessons are about religious instruction and not what it actually is i.e. neutral learning about other faiths.

ShadeofViolet Sat 18-May-13 14:41:51

Its also not just about teaching RE.

Much of British history has religious connotations, as does world geography.

Pozzled Sat 18-May-13 14:45:32

Like some posters above, I do want my DDs to learn about religion. Religion has had (and continues to have) a huge influence on history, politics, society as a whole. It's important for children to have an awareness and understanding of it.

However, I don't really want my children involved in any actual worship until they're old enough to decide their beliefs for themselves. I think it's time the collective worship rule was scrapped IMO.

NotYoMomma Sat 18-May-13 14:47:08

As an athiest I THINK RE is of huge importance in understanding a lot of the worlds political landscape and peoples motivations and way of thinking (no matter how outlandish) yabu

ShadeofViolet Sat 18-May-13 14:49:40

Also, depending on the school that your DD goes to, she is going to be exposed to different religions from the other pupils.

ivykaty44 Sat 18-May-13 14:52:36

TBH though would it matter if RE wasn't taught until secondary school a bit like french?

it would free up time for the teachers to work/teach other subjects better

FarBetterNow Sat 18-May-13 15:09:43


Religious knowledge is surely part of general knowledge.

Wellthen Sat 18-May-13 15:12:12

YABU for starting yet another thread about this and not doing a search first. The only way to avoid this is
a: send them to a private school that is completely secular (and hope none of her friends are religious)
b: This sentence - I am not religious for these, my dear child, may make your own mind up.

MrsTerryPratchett Sat 18-May-13 15:14:33

YABU. Learning about religions is important. I can know about lots of things without believing the same. For example, I know what anti-vax people think even though I don't agree.

Collective Christian worship being forced on children OTOH is ridiculous, discriminatory and anachronistic. Time that went the way of the dinosaurs.

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