Talk

Advanced search

Collective Worship Court Case collapses

(22 Posts)
cabfor4 Wed 20-Nov-19 12:13:01

It's a shame this case never got to the courts, but the BHA are claiming it as good news nevertheless : https://humanism.org.uk/2019/11/20/school-concedes-in-collective-worship-legal-case-will-provide-alternative-assemblies/

I guess now it just needs lots more parents to take a stand - that is, to withdraw their kids from collective worship but making sure their schools know they still have to provide them with all the other aspects of meaningful assemblies.

OP’s posts: |
BubblesBuddy Thu 21-Nov-19 00:00:59

Well if there’s no judicial decision, there’s no change in the law. The collective worship at non religious schools can be light touch anyway. Just let your DC make up their own minds about religion. They don’t have to agree with you.

TurOlive Thu 21-Nov-19 23:26:38

Hopefully this leads to the ridiculous law being changed.

prh47bridge Fri 22-Nov-19 11:34:11

making sure their schools know they still have to provide them with all the other aspects of meaningful assemblies

As BubblesBuddy says, because the school conceded before the case went to court there has been no change in the law. There is nothing in the relevant legislation that forces schools to provide any alternative for those who are withdrawn from collective worship so, unless the courts decide otherwise, they don't have to do so.

In most schools, including many faith schools, there is minimal religious content in the assembly anyway. Indeed, many ignore the requirement for a daily assembly.

cabfor4 Fri 22-Nov-19 16:35:37

In most schools, including many faith schools, there is minimal religious content in the assembly anyway. Indeed, many ignore the requirement for a daily assembly.

I think that's the only reason the law hasn't been changed ... because so many schools ignore the law that parents don't see it as an issue. That doesn't mean it's not an issue in the schools that don't ignore the law.

Good to see parents standing up to it, and winning the battle, but a shame it didn't get to court.

OP’s posts: |
Woeisme99 Fri 22-Nov-19 18:30:27

I just can't get worked up about a few hymns and an Our Father or two. My DC are exposed to many views and opinions, including religion, it's a talking point and we discuss how they want to interact with what they learn.

What do you think the detriment of taking part in worship is OP? Genuinely curious, not being provocative.

cabfor4 Fri 22-Nov-19 19:24:31

What do you think the detriment of taking part in worship is OP?

All children should learn about faith(s), but taking an active part in compulsory worship is different. I think it's fine to take part if they want to, not if they don't. Fairly obvious really, but I think many kids aren't given the choice.

If there's an up-side, it does make them more likely to question what their teachers tell them more generally. With the right support at home, that can help to develop their critical thinking skills, but in other cases it just makes children very cynical and critical of religion, and less tolerant of it in the long run.

OP’s posts: |
Woeisme99 Fri 22-Nov-19 20:01:35

But you can opt your child out of worship if you / they want to, so there is nothing compulsory about it.

cabfor4 Fri 22-Nov-19 20:35:32

Woeisme99, you missed the point of the court case. They wanted to opt their children out of worship without opting them out of all the other positive aspects of school assemblies. They won the right to expect high quality inclusive assemblies, without worship. The worship will still take place for others that do want it.

OP’s posts: |
Woeisme99 Fri 22-Nov-19 20:38:31

Definitely didn't misunderstand the court case, I was responding to your point that All children should learn about faith(s), but taking an active part in compulsory worship is different. there is no compulsory worship though, it's totally optional.

Loopytiles Fri 22-Nov-19 20:40:26

It’s not optional if there are prayers and hymns in assembly, or religion is presented as fact, as it is at my DCs’ school.

Loopytiles Fri 22-Nov-19 20:41:08

Opting out is difficult due to social concerns, DC not wanting to be different.

Ginger1982 Fri 22-Nov-19 20:43:27

"They won the right to expect high quality inclusive assemblies, without worship. The worship will still take place for others that do want it."

How would this work in practice? Split the assembly?

Woeisme99 Fri 22-Nov-19 20:53:04

For me this is like going to a steak house and ordering a vegetarian meal, that's grand, it's your choice. But then you decide that actually as you don't want the steak nor should anyone else and the whole place should be redesigned as a salad bar.

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 22-Nov-19 20:55:21

Just let your DC make up their own minds about religion. They don’t have to agree with you.

Except in order to be with their friends they are required to worship. It's on a level playing field.

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 22-Nov-19 20:56:01

And @Woeisme99 that's nonsense. All schools are required to do it, not just religious schools.

MoltoAgitato Fri 22-Nov-19 20:58:19

It means that if you opt your children out of religious assemblies, the school can’t just stick them in a room with a book until assembly is finished.

Many people don’t get a choice over what kind of school their child goes to, so the idea that if you aren’t Christian you don’t send your child to a Christian school is a non starter.

cabfor4 Fri 22-Nov-19 21:49:59

For me this is like going to a steak house and ordering a vegetarian meal, that's grand, it's your choice. But then you decide that actually as you don't want the steak nor should anyone else and the whole place should be redesigned as a salad bar.

No, it's much more like expecting your vegetarian meal to be vegetarian ... rather than vegetarian with meat stirred into it.... and the whole place should be redesigned to respect the fact that some folk are vegetarian and others are meat eaters, but they ought to be able to eat together without anyone being force fed one way or the other.

OP’s posts: |
cabfor4 Fri 22-Nov-19 21:54:09

How would this work in practice? Split the assembly?

Did you read the link in the OP? It gives some detail, but I guess the rest is for the school to work out depending on how many opt out of the worship.

OP’s posts: |
Ginger1982 Fri 22-Nov-19 22:09:44

Ah yes, I see now.

SansaSnark Fri 22-Nov-19 22:36:08

Theoretically, all state schools have to provide collective worship, not just religious ones- so unless you are able to pay for private education, it's not as simple as choosing a school to avoid this. In nondenominational schools, the majority of collective worship is supposed to be "broadly Christian" the majority of the time.

A lot of secondary schools are non-compliant with the legislation, and there certainly seems no will to enforce it. Some parents probably do have access to a primary school that doesn't carry out collective worship in practice, but this won't be all of them, and choosing a non-faith school doesn't mean you avoid collective worship.

FWIW, I don't think collective worship has much effect on children's beliefs, and it's often very light touch. However, I do think that parents should have the option to choose a school where there isn't any worship.

WhyAmIPayingFees Sat 23-Nov-19 16:30:05

It’s a step forward for the family concerned but the provisions will end when this family leave the school. The Oxford Diocese needs properly straightening out or schools should be removed from their control. There should always be proper provision for kids opted out of the anachronistic CW.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in