As a retired secondary headteacher I wish to record my concern that the Daily Act of Worship in schools remains on the Statute book after so many years and continues to present an issue for heads and managers of so many schools. Our present multicultural society is dramatically different from the 'perceived' society of the 1930's and 40's, for which the 1944 Education Act was designed. The notion of a daily, formal Act of Worship for all pupils, with prayers and hymns, is anathema to most educationists ( and certainly to most secondary pupils ) and runs counter to our philosophies of education. Most headteachers believe in the importance of sharing life experiences with all the students, encouraging reflection on core values and building a sense of community within the school. This can be achieved partially through assemblies, which should remain as an integral part of the school's week. Religious Education remains an important part of the curriculum and that is where religious issues are best discussed.

Because the daily  Act of Worship is technically still 'law', its none-appearance in school assemblies can be challenged by individuals whose religious convictions feel that it should be complied with and who are determined to identify those schools who appear to be deliberately flouting the law. That is what happened to me, and it placed the LEA and other heads and Governing bodies in a very difficult postion.

 

Surely it is time to remove this requirement entirely, which is probably more honoured in the breach than in the observance in any case.

Why is this idea important?

This is answered in the above.

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