My daughter goes to a state school. We are a non-religious family. There is no reason why she should be compelled to join in any act of worship. Faith should not be a component of state education.

Louise, from CROYDON

Compulsory worship in non-faith schools is inherently divisive. The ‘option’ to remove your child from such assemblies is impractical and, in many cases, stigmatises the child. I strongly believe that, aside from RS lessons, religion and religious worship have no place in state-funded educational establishments. We should be aiming for greater integration by means of shared educational experiences. Why should a child of no religion be expected or forced to participate in acts of religious worship? Why should a Muslim or Sikh child be expected to undertake Christian religious worship? Imagine if all the schools currently carrying out daily Christian collective worship chose to switch to Islam - there would be an outcry, yet it is exactly the same argument against a Christian collective worship or any other religion. This requirement is anachronistic and has no place in modern education.

Sarah, from SWINDON

As a Primary School teacher for 42 years, 13 of which were as Headteacher, I strongly support this campaign to abolish the law requiring schools to engage in a daily act of worship.

John, from BLACKBURN

In the 1960s I withdrew myself from the religious part of daily assemblies at my secondary school on the grounds that I was an atheist. I could not have believed then that there would still be a requirement for collective worship in the state education system in this country 50 years later. I do not believe that children should be taught in state schools that prayer and worship are required or even normal - religion is a personal choice that individuals can make whenever they want to and can learn about their chosen faith in one of the many faith-based institutions outside the school system.

Philip, from GUILDFORD

Compulsory worship in schools is anachronistic. I've avoided withdrawing my child from assembly because I think it's an important part of the school day to share information and participate in whole school community activities. But particularly during KS1 when an external group came in to evangelise, I certainly considered it. It actually caused arguments with my daughter who was adamant she was a Christian and therefore better than me because the 'Open the Book' people said she was. (she's feisty!) Fortunately, the school don't do this in KS2 as the kids are a bit savvier by then and they don't swallow it so easily! This is in a school with no religious affiliation.

Emma, from LEEDS

Our children go to a non-faith school, yet still have to sit through compulsory worship. The school even brings in the local C of E church to act out bible stories once a week. it’s disgusting.

Lizanne, from OXFORD

As a retired primary headteacher I found that the daily act of worship would not encompass the needs of my school community. Examples from many religions and from everyday life were more effective on promoting British values.

Noel, from DARTFORD

My daughter has recently started school and is being gradually indoctrinated into a Christian belief system that is not representative of her family's outlook. It is fundamentally wrong that the state interferes in the belief system of its citizenry. For my family it feels like a violation of our article 8 and article 9 rights. The only option available is to have my daughter excluded from those events at the risk of her feeling ostracised. At age 4 she is too young to comprehend concepts like God and unbelief and in fact should not be having to experience the unnecessary hassle of facing these issues at such a young age. Please end this nonsense legal provision. It doesn't make sense for anyone except those desperately trying to maintain Christianity as the de facto state religion by seeking to influence the citizenry before it is old enough to make to make considered decisions.


It's hard to believe that worship remains compulsory at any school in any situation. I thought it a grossly inappropriate thing when I was at school 40 years ago.


I went to a supposedly non-faith high school, where each day the school population was required to sing a hymn and say the lord's prayer in assembly. We also had church groups visiting and 'encouraging' us to visit church, at which point I recall one atheist teacher walking out of the hall in protest. Each child was given a bible, and RE often assumed we were all Christian. Anyone who was not taking part in the singing or praying in assembly was often made an example of, as teachers would watch us and sometimes walk around to 'check' if we were singing. On one occasion at least, those who were seen to not be joining in were made to stay standing whilst the 'good' kids got to sit down and stop singing, so as to punish and humiliate those who didn't want to have religion forced on them when they didn't believe it. I was one of these people, as were many others. It makes zero sense to force kids under threat of humiliation and punishment to participate in a religion which only a small minority of them actually believe in. It's discriminatory, humiliating, disrespectful to young peoples' personal choices and self-determination, unfair, and anachronistic in a modern, multicultural society. Kids should be taught about different religions and none, without assuming their beliefs and declining them the ability to make a reasoned choice by indoctrinating them into one particular belief system before they can think critically, as is what schools seem to be attempting to do, especially at the primary level where many are officially 'C of E' schools, as was the one which I had to attend as it was the only one within walking distance, where I was subject to similar forced religion. It can also often make kids resent their school for forcing them to do things that they don't want, without any good reason for the rule to exist.

Charlie, from LEEDS

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