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Is collective worship compulsory in schools?

Collective worship is compulsory in all schools. In schools that are not of ‘a religious character’ the SACRE advises the local authority on matters relating to daily collective worship which must be wholly or mainly of a “broadly Christian” character. Exceptionally, however, where the head teacher and governing body feel that a broadly Christian act of worship is not suitable, they can apply to the local SACRE to have that requirement lifted.

Collective worship in foundation schools with a religious character and voluntary schools will be in accordance with the school’s trust deed: where it is not, the worship should be in accordance with the beliefs of the religion or denomination specified for the school.

In reality, many schools no longer observe the requirement for assemblies to be Christian in content. This can be an opportunity for Christian parents, the local church and Christian ministries to support the school by providing collective worship. Once you have built relationships within the school and are trusted to suggest appropriate visitors, just ask the Head Teacher or governors if they would like some help.

Parents have the statutory right to withdraw their children from acts of Collective Worship at all maintained schools, including faith schools, and they are not obliged to give a reason for requesting withdrawal.