An opportunity to end compulsory collective worship?

A suggestion to repeal the law requiring compulsory collective worship in UK schools became the most popular idea on a new website launched today by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg “Your Freedom”. The government website has a section on civil liberties where people can make suggestions of laws which they want to see repealed and comment on the suggestions of other participants. Scrapping the law on collective worship in schools became the most rated idea within an hour of being submitted.

BHA Chief Executive Andrew Copson stated, ‘If the government wishes to free schools from prescriptive legal regimes, then it is difficult to see why the law on collective worship, which requires all schools to hold a daily act of worship, should not be one of the first laws to be thrown on the bonfire.

‘Teachers, parents and pupils themselves have repeatedly opposed this legal requirement, infringing as it does on young peoples’ rights to freedom of belief by forcing them to pray or worship in other ways. It is no wonder that getting rid of that law was immediately the most popular on the government’s website as a bad law that restricts freedom.’

Notes

Further comment or information from Andrew Copson, [email protected] on 07534 248596.

The law currently requires all schools to have a daily act of ‘broadly Christian’ worship.

More details on Collective Worship.

The BHA is encouraging its members and supporters to engage with the government’s ‘Your Freedom’ participation project.

The British Humanist Association is the national charity representing and supporting the interests of ethically concerned, non-religious people in the UK. It is the largest organisation in the UK campaigning for an end to religious privilege and to discrimination based on religion or belief, and for a secular state.