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to think worship has no place in a school?

(257 Posts)
HollyMiamiFLA Fri 14-Feb-14 08:35:25

By all means - talk about what people of faith believe in, use examples from their books as moral examples, use example of people with no faith etc. Lots of good opportunities for "doing the moral thing" and talking about right and wrong.

But keep "collective worship" out of it. If a child wants to pray, they can do it at their own time.

Yes - people can opt out. Children can sit there and contemplate. But it's difficult to opt out. Surely opting in rather than assuming that children want to pray to a God they really do not understand is better.

But it's compulsory - and in theory, OFSTED will look to see if your school is doing this:

" All maintained schools in England must provide a daily act of collective worship. This must reflect the traditions of this country which are, in the main, broadly Christian.

Parents have the right to withdraw their child from the daily act of collective worship and sixth-formers can decide for themselves whether or not to attend, without giving a reason for doing so. Schools must comply with this wish and must ensure a duty of care for pupils who are withdrawn from collective worship."

(I seem to be on a bit of a vent at the moment [grin[)

CaramelisedOnion Fri 14-Feb-14 08:38:46

I completely agree.

CaramelisedOnion Fri 14-Feb-14 08:39:34

With the OP....sorry realised that might not have been clear!

Trapper Fri 14-Feb-14 08:41:47

I do agree with you. Schools should be places of learning, not of spiritualism. Religious Education is very important though and should be taken more seriously than it is at the moment.
Given the influence the church has at all levels of government, I cannot see any proposed changes getting an easy ride through either house and I don't feel so strongly about it to want the government to spend massive amounts of debating time on it.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 14-Feb-14 08:42:31

YADNBU - I doubt you will get anyone disagreeing

Dawndonnaagain Fri 14-Feb-14 08:43:08

I too, agree. I do however think that Religious studies should be taught though, all religions and philosophies so that we may learn to respect the views of others.

Euphemia Fri 14-Feb-14 08:44:55

In Scotland schools have to provide regular opportunities for worship, but certainly not daily. Our minister comes about once a month, and we attend church once a year.

Daily?! What a waste of time! People moan on here about pupils watching a movie at the end of term, but your children are wasting their time in daily assemblies?!

Madness.

Sparklymommy Fri 14-Feb-14 08:45:08

It always confuses me! How can something be compulsory but you can opt out of it? Surely if it is compulsory it is just that.

For the record I choose to send my children to a church school and its an important part of their day. I do tho k it has its place if you choose it (ie by sending dc to a church school) but should not be forced onto children in non-religious schools. If that makes any sense at all!

Euphemia Fri 14-Feb-14 08:47:26

Presumably the compulsion is on the school, not the pupils/parents.

Blu Fri 14-Feb-14 08:48:21

I completely oppose the requirement for 'worship' in schools - and think that Religious Education insofar as it is compulsory should be widened and called 'Beliefs, philosophy and ethics'. I do agree with good education in the major belief systems and cultures.

We live in a Christian country and we have inherited an education system which was originally run by the church. Parents have the right to take their children out of assembly if they want to. The training for ministers who go into schools is that when it comes to praying they, the ministers, are doing the praying and if the children want to make that prayer their own they can say amen. In my area the schools are trying to find people from other faith communities to come and take assemblies as they want the children to experience that as well as Christianity.

If atheists want to take worship, out of schools then go and lobby parliament about it. But it won't stop this thread running for pages and pages.

Sparklymommy Fri 14-Feb-14 08:54:57

I think there is a difference between 'worship' and 'religious education'.

Religious education I think should be compulsory, as it teaches tolerance and understanding. As an in my previous post, I think collective worship should be a part of religious schools, but not necessarily state schools without an affiliation to a specific religion.

Euphemia Fri 14-Feb-14 08:58:46

Religious and Moral Education is part of the curriculum in Scotland, and covers the six main world religions. We were trained at college to present each religion in an unbiased way, e.g., no "us and them" language.

WooWooOwl Fri 14-Feb-14 09:00:30

I agree there is no need for worship in schools, but I don't think it does any harm either tbh.

pointythings Fri 14-Feb-14 09:02:30

I think the words 'compulsory' and 'worship' have no business occurring in the same sentence.

Laura0806 Fri 14-Feb-14 09:03:25

I think daily collective worship is lovey. It gives the children a sense of belonging and introduces them to worship and praying. CHildren whose parents do not believe are denied the opportunity to decide for themselves ( a child cant go to church on their own). This way they get to experience religiion and then can choose for themselves when they are older. It does not harm, encourages community and a sense of morality at the very least for those who are not religious. If you are that opposed to it, opt out. Chidlren do at our school and its fine but don't deprive chidlren of their only chance ( for some of them ) to experirence collective worship and then choose for themsleves at a later date. You very rarely hear chidlren moan about it just their parents!

Laura0806 Fri 14-Feb-14 09:04:55

sorry, dont deprive 'all' children I meant , obviously if you are very strongly against it for your own children then thats your choice. ps pointythings, its not really compulsory , you can opt out but I know thats the wording

anothernumberone Fri 14-Feb-14 09:11:18

Well we have half an hour of daily religious education in the Irish primary curriculum. I actually don't mind the idea of worship in school for baptised children once in a while even though I am not remotely religious myself, but once a week for religious education, half an hour max would be fine with me for all ages.

Fleta Fri 14-Feb-14 09:13:51

I firmly believe the school system should be secular.

I'm all for religious schools for those who want them but these should not be supported by the tax payer - more the religious institutions they're affiliated to.

formerbabe Fri 14-Feb-14 09:14:15

It has no place...in fact I find it quite terrifying that children may be expected to pray to something that cannot be seen/heard/no evidence of. Children who use logical thought and reason should be applauded not marginalised.

Sirzy Fri 14-Feb-14 09:15:01

I am a Christian but I agree with you, I am all for religious education and can go with the ethos of the school being a broadly christian one (unless the demographics of the school suggest otherwise) but any sort of forced worship is wrong in a community school.

Church schools I can understand it, but even then a lot of people don't have a choice but to use a faith school so again the demographics of the school still need to be considered.

17leftfeet Fri 14-Feb-14 09:19:12

The schools my dds attend have assemblies but they aren't even vaguely religious -not sure what they do when ofsted come in?

SofaKing Fri 14-Feb-14 09:20:49

Its very harmful. Dd is four and came home from school crying because she was scared of hell, which they had been discussing as a fellow pupil's dad was dead and they were talking about what happened after you died. She was very upset as we are not religious and had never talked about this before, and she was convinced it is strictly factual as school have only taught her facts before, not speculation.

I don't think hell should be talked about to four year olds.

1919 Fri 14-Feb-14 09:22:18

I agree. Philosophy, religious studies and ethics should definitely be taught in school but there is absolutely no need for Christian -or any kind of specific, religious- worship in an educational environment. I strongly believe that schools should be secular.

JapaneseMargaret Fri 14-Feb-14 09:22:24

^ CHildren whose parents do not believe are denied the opportunity to decide for themselves ( a child cant go to church on their own).^

Just like the children whose parent do believe.

OP, YANBU. Thankfully I live in a country that realises this.

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