The law mandating acts of worship of a predominantly Christian nature is outdated and has no place in a modern multicultural country. Children should be given lots of information about religion and the right to choose whether and if so how and where they worship.

Alistair, from SOUTH LONDON

I see many parents not wanting to take their children out of collective worship and many more being complete oblivious to its existence or nature. Our children are being indoctrinated without our knowledge or consent. Our local school is not a Church of Wales School but has a governor who is the Pastor of the local Pentecostal Church. This church and another local church are involved in too many school activities, including collective worship in the past, and even to mainstream UK Christians, their worship and fundamentalism might be considered unrepresentative. Everything taught in schools should be based on fact, evidence, and practical knowledge. If parents want to raise their children within a religion, they will do this anyway by taking them to Sunday school and church. If schools want to run a religious assembly or similar, this should be done on an opt in basis so that it can be informed and desired before children attend. We were not actively made aware of the collective worship and even less of the involvement of the local churches until more than halfway through our eldest child's first year at school. Elim Church claim on their website that they actively train people in methods of conversion, particularly targeting children. They should not be allowed contact with our children without our knowledge. Remove the requirement for collective worship or, if you must, allow it on an informed, opt in basis to match other modern laws that protect human rights such as data protection.

Richard, from SWANSEA

Children have a right to attend school and be part of whole school celebrations without being coerced into participating in any form of religious doctrine. A school should be an inclusive community. No child should be made to feel uncomfortable because of the imposition of religious doctrine.

Carol, from PETERBOROUGH

As a young student I was extremely adversely affected by forced worship which has had a terrible impact on my adult life. Not to mention, the priest in question who publicly punished me for worshipping 'incorrectly' (I had a tissue in one of my hands as I had a cold, apparently this was disrespectful to God) is now jailed for child molestation. How surprising. There is absolutely no place for forced worship in our education system, it does not contribute to a well-rounded curriculum and is damaging to children, who under these rules will be forced into reciting words they may not believe, and their imaginative freedoms slowly chipped away with every passing week. challenging this out-dated practice is essential for the future safeguarding of our children.

Emma, from SOUTH LONDON

I’m a qualified teacher who has always struggled with forced religious elements in schools such as collective worship, and I believe this is a key issue. I’m an atheist and have always taken pride in delivering engaging and respectful R.E lessons on a range of religions and cultures. It’s disgraceful that despite our curriculum’s emphasis on British values such as tolerance( which should be acceptance), children and staff at community schools are regularly assumed and expected to have beliefs that are “broadly Christian in nature”. Daily collective worship should be replaced with daily collective reflection where children and staff’s differing belief systems can be respected.

Louise, from STOCKPORT

I was subjected to forced worship in a non-church state school as a teenager. Parents won’t withdraw children as they are frightened of rocking the boat. They should be stopped.

Adam, from SHEFFIELD

In the 21st century, the requirement for Christian worship embodies a patronising patriarchal assumption that the state is entitled to impose a religious template on its citizens, because it 'knows best'. This was wrong when I was at school in the 70s and 80s, and even more so now when many people have no religion at all and those who are still religious have a diversity of faiths. The religious backers of this outdated policy might also like to consider that religion at school is probably responsible for the massive increase in British people turning away from religion.

Alex, from GUILDFORD

Promoting Religion in schools is like promoting a political party. Should we have Tory and Labour assemblies? Of course not, as these are opinions, not facts. In fact, the concept of any god is false. What harm could it do to promote religion? It goes against all we try and teach our children, to be problem solvers, to think scientifically and critically. It's the only part of school life that is not true and contradicts the science teaching.

James, from OXFORD

My children came back from school disturbed on many occasions because of mandatory praying! Very wrong.

Stefan, from TRURO

My 8-year-old daughter felt uncomfortable when she was expected to pray at her school carol concert. She is an atheist but thought she’d get into trouble if she didn’t conform. I don’t want her to feel like this. She has asked lots of questions about God and Christianity and has decided herself that she does not believe in any of it. So why is her school telling her about it as if it’s true? Confusing for a child don’t you think?

Amie, from REDHILL

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