It is right and reasonable that schools should teach pupils about the major religions, to help them better understand the society in which we live. However, the requirement for all state schools to perform a "broadly Christian" act collective worship every day is no longer reasonable in the 21st century. Religious worship is a private matter that parents may teach their children if they wish, but it has no place in the state school system.

Even if a group of non-religious parents wanted to start a school that did not force religious worship on children (which is exactly the sort of "big society" idea that the government supports), under current legislation they would be unable to.

I urge the government to abolish the requirement for collective worship as soon is is practically possible.

Why is this idea important?

•    It forces young people to pray or worship regardless of their personal beliefs
•    It does not respect children’s and young people’s rights to freedom of religion or belief
•    It does not recognise the plurality of beliefs in the UK
•    The system whereby you can opt your child out of religious worship is deeply flawed in theory and practice
•    Under 16s can’t opt-themselves out without their parents’ permission
•    Inclusive assemblies are a better alternative and contribute more to well being and development.

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