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Repeal the legislation that forces children to attend an act of collective worship in school every day

Comment 15th March 2013

Scrap the law that requires that all schools must hold an act of (broadly Christian) collective worship every day.

Why does this matter?

Belief is personal, whether it's religious or not. You cannot make anyone believe, though many religious orthodoxies try to. The current legislation is anachronistic, based on the assumption that forcing young people to participate in an act of worship, regardless of whether or not they believe, is somehow good for them. The idea that inculcating values derived from religious teachings will make people good is old-fashioned nonsense and insulting to the many people (including teachers and parents) who live ethical lives without religion.

Young people are less religious than their grandparents and great-grandparents were. They're not inclined, in my experience, to accept religious belief just because someone tells them it's good for them. Being forced to participate in an act of "worship" when they don't accept that there is anything to worship, or when they'd prefer to worship in their own way, in their own time, simply encourages cynicism. It doesn't respect a young person's right to believe or not to believe, as he or she chooses.

Amending the current legislation won't solve the problem. The system that allows opting out in some circumstances is flawed.

Scrap the law altogether and encourage inclusive secular school assemblies that contribute to a positive school ethos.

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