There is no such thing as secular schools in England.
Collective Worship is legally required to take place every school day and shall be wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character.
Parents have the right to withdraw their children from the daily act of Collective Worship if they wish and they do not have to give a reason.
Sixth-formers can decide for themselves whether or not to attend, without giving a reason for doing so.
Parents have the right to withdraw their children from any or all acts of Collective Worship (Education Reform Act, 1988, Section 9 (3)).
- The parent does not have to give a reason for this request.
- The school retain responsibility for the pupil's health and safety.
- Arrangements may be made to provide facilities on the school premises for alternative provision for pupils withdrawn from collective worship.
- These arrangement must not by law entail any expenditure from the school budget.
- It is advisable that schools keep a record of such withdrawals.
- Parents can withdraw their children from collective worship even if they attend a faith school e.g. Islamic, Church of England (CoE), Roman Catholic (RC), etc.
A school can apply to the local Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE) to have the Christian character requirement lifted for its non-Christian pupiils and offer an alternative form of Collective Worship e.g. one that is wholly or mainly of a broadly Islamic character. The process is called Determination. For an example see Bordesley Green Girls School in Birmingham and outstanding guidance notes by London Borough of Bexley.
The MPA - What we do?
The Muslim Parents Association is an independent, non-profit making organisation that provides advice, support and training for Muslim parents to advance the education of their children on a variety of themes.
Run by Parents for Parents
"The child has a different relation to his environment from ours. Adults admire their enviroment; they remember it. The things he sees are not just remembered; they form part of his soul. He incarnates in himself all in the world about him that his eyes see and ears hear. In us the same thing produce no change, but the child is transformed by them." Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind.
Meeting the needs of Muslim pupils in state schools by the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB)
Adobe Acrobat document [8.6 MB]
Sex and Relationship Education Guidance
Head teachers, Teachers & School Governors AND PARENTS
Status: good practice
Date of issue: July 2000
Adobe Acrobat document [532.3 KB]
The key to driving up school standards
Adobe Acrobat document [122.8 KB]
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