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is a school allowed to do this?

(332 Posts)
nonreligiousmummy Thu 21-Apr-05 12:06:10

My 2 children go to a CofE school. I have no choice in this because it is the only school we can get to. I am very unreligious (sorry) but obviously being a CofE school they have religious stories. I hate this but know that unless I change schools (impossible) I have to put up with it. If I had my way they would not be taught religious studies.

The thing I am happy about is the fact that ds has come home from school on two different occasions now, and said that they were taken to church that day. We (the parents) had no letter or anything to tell us that this would be happening or to ask our permission. Can the school do this? Just take our kids off like that without us knowing? I think its a bit out of order. I don't know what to do. Thanks.

debs26 Thu 21-Apr-05 12:10:05

my kids school got us to sign a form giving permission for little outings so a trip to church would almost certainly be covered by that if you signed one. i went to catholic school and we went to church all the time without them asking but the church was next to the school and im not sure if we technically left the school grounds to get there. think you need to speak to head about this. can understand you are not happy, dont think i would be either

QueenEagle Thu 21-Apr-05 12:10:55

I will watch this thread with interest as my dd is starting a Catholic School in September and we are very non-religious. We too have little choice in her going to this particular school.

I do think that you should have the option of withdrawing your child from these church visits and your wishes should be respected. Perhaps in future you could make it clear you do not wish your child to attend the church?

QueenEagle Thu 21-Apr-05 12:10:57

I will watch this thread with interest as my dd is starting a Catholic School in September and we are very non-religious. We too have little choice in her going to this particular school.

I do think that you should have the option of withdrawing your child from these church visits and your wishes should be respected. Perhaps in future you could make it clear you do not wish your child to attend the church?

QueenEagle Thu 21-Apr-05 12:10:57

I will watch this thread with interest as my dd is starting a Catholic School in September and we are very non-religious. We too have little choice in her going to this particular school.

I do think that you should have the option of withdrawing your child from these church visits and your wishes should be respected. Perhaps in future you could make it clear you do not wish your child to attend the church?

Gwenick Thu 21-Apr-05 12:14:47

Thing is our local schools visit our church, more of a 'this is what a church looks like' 'that's called the altar' 'that's the vestry' 'this is the history of 'this' church' etc etc. Just like they'd visit a castle or musuem to 'see' the things they've learnt about at school.

We're Christians but I know our local CoE school (which DS1 starts in September) occasionaly visits the local Mosque - to show the children what a mosque looks like. While I don't 'like' the idea of my DS having to take his shoes off to enter (because that's what they 'have' to do) I'll allow him to do it because I feel it's a vital part of his education to learn about other faiths, and see where/what they practice.

roisin Thu 21-Apr-05 12:14:49

We have to sign a permission form every time the children go off-site. I don't know what the official line is though.

Oh, actually now I think of it when they went to Harvest Festival at the church we were told, but we didn't have to sign.

This is a community school, but they often visit churches, but also go for walks around the neighbourhood doing map work and stuff.

bundle Thu 21-Apr-05 12:15:27

part of the home-school partnership at dd1's catholic school includes respecting prayer etc, many non-religious parents send their children there and that's the "price" you pay for getting into these (often high quality) schools. you could move if you feel that strongly.

nonreligiousmummy Thu 21-Apr-05 12:19:13

i cant move though thats the thing!

Easy Thu 21-Apr-05 12:20:46

I recognise you are non-religious, but I am interested in why you object to your children going into a church at all.

Surely it is part of their education to experience all aspects of life, even those aspects you don't necessarily believe in. In that way children can learn to formulate their own opinions, good preparation for adult life.

Please don't think I'm criticising, I am just intrigued.

nonreligiousmummy Thu 21-Apr-05 12:27:11

i dont believe in it all. i think its totally hypocritical. sorry. i dont mean to offend in any way. Its just the way i feel.

Gwenick Thu 21-Apr-05 12:29:18

but why do you not want your children to learn about it? I learned about LOTS of things in school which my parents (and I) didn't believe in, BUT what it helped me to do was to form my own educated opinions about things and life in general which I believe helped me to develop as a person.

nonreligiousmummy Thu 21-Apr-05 12:30:28

i hate it and everything about it. i have enough family trying to push it on my children when they know damned well its not what i want

Gwenick Thu 21-Apr-05 12:31:43

so what will you do if in 20yrs time your children decide to follow a religion??

bundle Thu 21-Apr-05 12:33:45

again, if you feel that strongly you could go elsewhere, or move. or home educate.

frogs Thu 21-Apr-05 12:33:50

This has come up quite often on MN, and I'm intrigued to see how many people strongly object to their children having any religious input at all. (Not criticising you all, it had just never occurred to me that so many people feel that way).

Which bit do you object to: the taking the children offsite part, or the fact that they've gone to church?

For comparison, we also have to sign permission slips for outings offsite, but this doesn't seem to apply when they take the kids to church (Catholic school). I suspect the school don't really view church trips as offsite at all, though it involves crossing a busy main road. Either way I don't have a problem with it.

Gwenick Thu 21-Apr-05 12:34:07

so what will you do if in 20yrs time your children decide to follow a religion??

Toothache Thu 21-Apr-05 12:38:08

Well I wouldn't be happy about it NRM!! I'm with you on that one. Going on an outing to see a church is one thing, thats educational like going to a museum.... but are they attending services??

I would not want someone else taking it upon themselves to impose any religious beliefs on my children. I would like them to learn about all religions. So if they were attending CofE services then surely they should attend some Muslim/Hindhu/Jewish etc ones too?

If my children want to follow a religion then they can and I'd completely support them.... but I'd like them to know about many religions before they ultimately choose.

nonreligiousmummy Thu 21-Apr-05 12:38:47

in 20 years time it will be their choice which is fine. until then i dont want it pushed on them. anyway i am more concerned about the fact that the school is taking my children out without my permsission

bubblerock Thu 21-Apr-05 12:39:29

My Son goes to a CofE school although I have not had him christened and I'm totally non - religious. DH is catholic but non practising. I want my son to decide for himself which religion if any he wants to join. I am happy with the school he is at and although he reads the bible and attends church with the school I'm hoping it will benefit him by actually teaching him morals that I agree with. Basically I think it will do him more good than harm - it didn't hurt me being a brownie and going to church!

bubblerock Thu 21-Apr-05 12:40:23

Is there anything in the prospectus about visits to church?

sallystrawberry Thu 21-Apr-05 12:40:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cod Thu 21-Apr-05 12:41:33

Message withdrawn

nonreligiousmummy Thu 21-Apr-05 12:44:30

oh i might have known you would try and rip this to pieces cod

what is wrong with having a belief or a non belief?

I was only asking about the school taking my kids out to a church.

So i dont want them going to church? whats wring with that? Im sure if your family were vegetarian you wouldnt want to go to an abbatoir would you? Im not religious so why would i want my family to go to a church? whats so wrong with that?

aloha Thu 21-Apr-05 12:45:54

I would also strongly object to my child being forced to worship a deity which I a/don't believe exists and b/don't approve of anyway - for me it is as if my child was taken along to a conservative party meeting and told to vote for them when they grow up. I think it is hard to understand this POV if you are religious. There is a HUGE difference being taught ABOUT something and being told to WORSHIP something. have no issues with dd or ds being told about religion - will happily do this myself - but not pleased about being told the existence of God is a fact or telling my child to worship him. It goes against my morals and principles. Would be v sad if dd or ds decide to become religious, also if they decided to join the conservative party - would still love them though. But certainly don't want it pushed on them during their childhood. This is exactly why I don't think religious/sectarian schools should exist.

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