Schools: Collective Worship

(asked on 15th June 2023) - View Source

Question to the Department for Education:

To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the recommendation of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child that the UK should repeal laws requiring daily acts of collective worship in schools.

Answered by
Baroness Barran Portrait
Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
This question was answered on 3rd July 2023

The government believes that collective worship is an important part of school life, encouraging pupils to reflect on the concept of belief and the role it plays in the traditions and values of this country. The legislation surrounding collective worship is flexible and allows schools to tailor their provision to suit their pupils’ spiritual needs, as well as providing an opportunity for schools and academies to develop and celebrate their ethos and values. The law also affords a right of withdrawal, which can be exercised by pupils over the age of 16 and by parents of pupils under the age of 16.

The government’s assessment is that the current legislation appropriately balances the rights of parents and of children, and has no plans to review its policy on collective worship or the associated right to withdraw as it relates to children attending state funded schools in England.

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