My children were told that, if they opted out of the religious assembly, they would have to sit in the library with the Jehovah's Witnesses 'bible' reading. It was not even a religious school! They were also fed quasi-religious fairy stories. I was far more annoyed than they were.


We are an extremely diverse nation now, ethnically, and culturally. That diversity includes over 50% of the population who do not hold any religious beliefs at all. Forcing children to attend religious assemblies is highly disrespectful of all of us.

Jane, from BRISTOL

Why should a child be forced to worship a Christian god daily at a ‘non-religious’ publicity funded school in the UK? In a country so sensitive to other religions and cultures, why is any religious doctrine at all imposed on what should be inclusive community education. More than happy to sign. Let’s campaign to end this!

Terry, from GLOUCESTER

Faith is a personal issue, and religious compulsion has no place in government policy. A child being forced to practise a religion they don't believe in is wrong - and caused a great deal of upset to my own children throughout their time at school.

Helen, from HALIFAX

I believe all religions should be taught and respected, however, I specifically enrolled my son into a non-religious school only to find they ask students to participate in prayer during assembly. I want my son to make up his own mind in regard to his faith and belief, should he have any, and for it not to be forced on him.


Making children who have no religious belief take part in active worship can impact on the respect that they have for the school in general.

Tony, from WIGAN

I think education should be secular and inclusive, with its aim to stick to educating our children only without the interference of a political or religious agenda. I think compulsory worship is without doubt discriminatory and not in line with equal rights. I think there are serious ethical questions regarding the pushing of any religion on undeveloped minds whilst contained away from parents in an educational environment, where classes will often contain children from a spectrum of religious and non-religious backgrounds.

Elizabeth, from BRIGHTON

In my opinion, religious education (that is, learning about various religions) is perfectly acceptable, or even desirable, in a multi-cultural nation. However, religious observance is not. Worship is not learning about the belief systems of the country in which we live. It is de facto compelling observance of one religious practice in particular. This is not compatible with modern life in all its diversity. What parents teach their children at home is one thing, but the State has no place in promoting any particular faith.

Robert, from DORCHESTER

My 2nd child is now at school, and I find myself again having to explain that God didn't create the earth and that is just someone's belief. Local evangelists are coming into a state school giving assemblies and preaching to children from age 4 upwards. The headmaster says that they have an obligation to provide worship. This is a state school. Supposedly nonreligious. It seems like we are not the only parents having this issue. The national curriculum needs updating from its near 80-year-old world view that every morning time should be set aside to worship a divine being. Withdrawing them isn't the answer either as it would single them out and they are too young to fully understand the situation.

Chris, from DERBY

As a former teacher who sometimes took school assembly, I avoided doing the act of worship because I did not want to indoctrinate anyone, least of all small children. Technically breaking the law? Yes. Any regrets? No.

Julie, from OLDHAM

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