Should we take God out of school assemblies?

Nov 11, 2019 by

by Tim Dieppe, Christian Concern:

Humanists UK are campaigning to take God out of school assemblies. The latest initiative is a resource hub “Assemblies for All” which showcases over 200 assemblies which avoid reference to God. They want to change the law which currently requires state community schools to have Christian assemblies. But if we take God out of the equation, what will replace Christianity as the source of our moral values in society?

What does the law say?

The law as it stands requires state community schools to have daily collective worship which is “wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character”. Only 51% of school assemblies need to be identifiably Christian. The other assemblies can reflect other faiths or ‘interests’ over the course of a year. Parents can withdraw their children, and teachers can withdraw themselves. Schools can also apply to opt-out of this requirement. Since 2004, Ofsted has stopped inspecting collective worship after 76% of schools were found to be non-compliant.

This legal requirement is a reminder of how explicitly Christian our nation once was, and how lawmakers were keen to ensure that children acquired some understanding of Christianity, Christian values, and experience of Christian worship. As the influence of Christianity has declined, calls have increased to change the law, which is seen as outdated. Nevertheless, there are good reasons to keep the law as it is.

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