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Children 'not worshipping at school'

06/09/2011 Joanna

Thousands of British children do not worship collectively a school, despite the fact that legislation requires this.

A Comres survey of 500 parents carried out for the BBC revealed that 64 per cent do not believe their children worship at school.

Two-thirds of those surveyed said they believe the legislation should not be enforced across schools.

Right Reverand John Pritchard, Bishop of Oxford, told the BBC: "What we believe as a country is important in the education of our young people, so I think it is an important statement that the country makes to its schools and says will you please do this.

"If schools refuse to do that, or fail to, then I think they need to be encouraged to do it, I wouldn't use the word enforced though at all."

However, Alison Ryan, chief policy officer at the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, questioned whether there is any demand for collective worship in schools.

"People are concerned about inclusivity, how much is it wanted by parents, pupils or even the staff themselves?" she explained.
"When a law is being flouted on a pretty major scale that is telling you something about its use, about how maybe it should be reformed or changed, so we believe it needs to be looked at."
Deputy headteacher Martin Cooper told the news provider that it can be challenging for a school to worship on a daily basis.

Speaking to the Guardian earlier this year, Rev Pritchard said religion should form part of the government's new English baccalaureate qualification.

He suggested that it is dangerous to sideline such an important subject at a time when tensions are running high within many communities.



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