With a variety of religions and beliefs, or none, represented in schools, it can only be divisive to select one of them and expect pupils to follow its messages. Why not have inclusive, ethical, fun assemblies that bring children together?


Modern Britain is a diverse pluralistic society. Something that we should be proud of. As a result of our diverse makeup, we support many communities of many faiths. Religion and faith are a personal matter, that can vary widely from family to family. As a result, compulsory acts of worship of any particular faith will inevitably marginalise some. Taxpayer funded schools have a place in helping to build bridges and understanding across communities and faiths by teaching comparative religion and secularism. Using taxpayer funding to enforce acts of worship of any faith is an unfair subsidy, liable to throw up barriers between pupils of differing faiths, and importantly rob children who are not of the chosen faith of a fundamental freedom. Schools primary duty is to educate, unless a school is entirely privately funded around one particular faith, acts of worship have no place in a modern pluralistic societies schooling. Any educational institution that relies on taxpayer funding should not be allowed to include acts of worship, as part of the curriculum. A limited exception could be made for demonstrations as part of comparative religious education. But this should be limited to occasional demonstrations, as part of building understanding between communities.

Sean, from CHESTER

Time for to be left in the past where it belongs.

Jack, from EAST LONDON

I went to a Catholic school in England. My children had some schooling in England and some in Scotland. I raised my own children free from religion, they have all been allowed to make their own minds up. All four are now adult and have not chosen to become religious. Compulsory worship was more difficult for one of my children, they were confused and as they got older, they became angry that they have been told that Christianity is true. I asked my children if they wished me to opt them out of this worship and explained how as a parent, I could discuss it with the school. All of my children were clear they didn’t want to be singled out and bullied like the JW children that were exempt. I found my children didn’t have all the opportunities of other due to many activities being interlinked with churches. For example, the school choir required kids to learn religious songs and attend and perform in church, this was not something my children were happy to do. The primary school my children attended did not have a large enough hall to host some larger events like leavers assemblies. These took place in the neighbouring Church of Scotland church and therefore everyone was subjected to being preached to. This particular school now attends the free church opposite the school. It concerns me deeply that this church holds some very homophobic and transphobic beliefs. In the UK we have freedom of religion, there should be no place for one religion to be forced on all.

Amanda, from INVERNESS

Currently looking at primary schools for our son to start in reception next year. We live in a rural area of North Yorkshire and are struggling to find a local primary school that doesn't do worship. We are agnostic and we do not believe we should have to have this struggle. All schools should teach ethical and non-prejudice thinking, but not via religion, as this can in fact be the source of conflict, much less teach peace and equality. We don't want our son to take part in worship or prayer, we want him to learn about the world and how to navigate himself within it. In 2021 this should be the norm. It is shocking that schools are still able to uphold such traditional values.

Cassie, from YORK

I used to work in a CofE school. The children were regularly evangelised to in Collective Worship. The school used it as the main vehicle to 'give every child a meaningful encounter with the person of Christ'. I was OK with teaching in a church school, but over the years it gradually changed and became more evangelical. The Church is dying, and they know that their only hope is to convince vulnerable young children that it is good to be a Christian. It's a bizarre, archaic law that most schools rightly ignore. It's time to realise that we're in a post-Christian country and the law on Collective Worship needs to go, children need fully inclusive time to come together, but worship has no part of that in 21st century Britain.

Chris, from BRISTOL

Such a silly thing to still have in schools in the 21st Century. As a former teacher who has done assemblies, I know they can be made more interesting compelling worship.

Shaun, from NORTH LONDON

I was unaware of the legal requirement for schools to impose worship until this Covid-19 lockdown, when I lovingly watched my four-year-old have her first Zoom class assembly. It was cute as all the children interacted. However, I was then horrified when I heard them instruct all the children to pray, and I watched my four-year-old, without question, clasp her hands together and repeat the prayer. I am worried about the indoctrination of religion on her (and all children), and while I respect everyone's right to pray and to worship, I only ask that that courtesy and respect is reciprocated with regards to non-religious families, and that religious practice is not a major pillar of education, and certainly not imposed.


Religion should be a choice, not a compulsion. It is contrary to all human rights to force anyone, let alone a minor, to attend or witness any religious ceremony. No child should be forced to attend worship of any nature in school or elsewhere.


I was shocked to discover my 6-year-old son was being asked to pray in class, something that had never been discussed with us as parents.

Helen, from SWANSEA

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