Joint open letter from religious and humanist groups, and teachers
A law that compels schoolchildren to take part in collective acts of “reverence or veneration to a divine being” should be abolished because it impinges on children’s and teachers’ “freedom of belief”, a group of unions, humanists and religious organisations argue.
In a letter this week to education secretary Michael Gove, the British Humanist Association claims that “the vast majority” of non-faith schools flout their obligation to hold a daily act of “broadly Christian” worship because of timetable and space restrictions.
The law also forces children to take part in worship regardless of what they believe, the letter says.
A get-out clause in the current legislation allows parents to withdraw their children from worship if they disagree with it, but the campaigners say this forces pupils to miss other aspects of assemblies and isolates them from their classmates.
The association claims the clause has remained in law since the 1944 Education Act because of pressure from religious lobby groups and bishops in the House of Lords.
It said it hopes the Coalition Government will respond favourably to its request, given its policy of removing unnecessary bureaucracy.
The letter says the forthcoming education bill provides “the perfect opportunity” to abolish the law.
Full article: http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6063594
Read the BHA’s news on this story and the letter in full (PDF).
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]Joint open letter from religious and humanist groups, and teachers,