A petition by the National Secular Society:
The law requires all publicly funded schools, even non-faith schools, to hold a daily act of "broadly Christian" worship.
The law as it stands is an anachronism; the legacy of a society unrecognisable from the diverse and pluralistic Britain of today where citizens hold a wide variety of religious beliefs, including no religious belief.
Most people would agree that it's healthy for children to learn about a variety of religious, non-religious and secular philosophies and worldviews. That's all part of education. But worship is different.
Even with limited withdrawal rights, requiring a daily act of worship, in which pupils by law are required to "take part", undermines young people's freedom of religion or belief and goes beyond the legitimate function of the state.
Assemblies can help schools to foster a sense of a collective identity amongst pupils. School assemblies with an ethical framework are also an ideal opportunity to promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils. Legally imposed acts of worship are not necessary to achieve these educational goals.
Removing the legal requirement would in no way restrict the ability of schools to hold assemblies that address a whole range of topics, including faith and belief. Neither would it prevent schools with a religious ethos from holding acts of worship, but it would put that choice into the hands of head teachers.
If you want a state education system with no compulsion to worship, please join us in calling for end to compulsory collective worship in schools.
Please consider signing this petition.
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