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Old 20th November 2019, 03:51 AM   #1
Pixel42
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Brits win right to prayer free school assembly

https://www.theguardian.com/educatio...chool-assembly

Quote:
Two parents who challenged compulsory religious worship in school assembly have won the right for a secular alternative for their children.

A Church of England multi-academy has said it will provide an alternative assembly for pupils withdrawn from prayers, it was confirmed on Wednesday. The Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust said it had also agreed the school will no longer hold its school leavers’ ceremony in church or gift bibles to all children.

The school had been facing a court case over collective worship in one of its schools but has agreed with Lee and Lizanne Harris that their children must be provided with a prayer-free, secular alternative assembly.
This has been a long time coming, and is a major victory for Humanists UK.

Quote:
Humanists UK, which has backed the Harris family, said the decision marked a “significant win” in ensuring that schools did not force religious worship on all children.

The Harrises launched the case after discovering their children were being made to pray and watch re-enactments of Bible scenes, including the crucifixion, during assemblies at Burford Primary school, an academy with no religious character.

They later withdrew their children from assemblies but no alternative activities were arranged by the school. In their submission to the high court in London, the parents argued that Christian worship at the school constituted indoctrination and was in breach of their right to freedom of belief under the Human Rights Act 1998 and the European convention on human rights.
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Old 20th November 2019, 04:25 AM   #2
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Why did they send the kids to a CofE school if they objected to the CofE part? That seems rather perverse to me.
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Old 20th November 2019, 09:15 AM   #3
Gord_in_Toronto
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Why did they send the kids to a CofE school if they objected to the CofE part? That seems rather perverse to me.
When I was sent, it was the only school in the neighbourhood.

It made me a believer but did no permanent harm. Partially because the only time I ever went to church (outside of weddings) was with my Gran (and even then the only occasion I can remember was a talk by a returned missionary). My Father was a closet atheist and my Mum was some sort of deist.

Otherwise, I think this is an improvement.
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Old 20th November 2019, 01:27 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
When I was sent, it was the only school in the neighbourhood.



It made me a believer but did no permanent harm. Partially because the only time I ever went to church (outside of weddings) was with my Gran (and even then the only occasion I can remember was a talk by a returned missionary). My Father was a closet atheist and my Mum was some sort of deist.



Otherwise, I think this is an improvement.
The town I was educated in still had the divisions along religious grounds, so there was the comprehensive CofE school and the Catholic school and for juniors there were a couple of CofE, Catholic and 2 Methodist/Wesleyan schools.

I think the parent's beef - if there was no non religious affiliated school - should have been about that. I can't criticise a CofE school for being a CofE school and I don't see why they should have to accommodate a non CofE family.

This issue as I see it is the changes to the English education system that allowed these types of academies in the first place.


(Despite myself going to a "religious" infant and junior school and I don't think it did me any harm, my being warped is all my own work!)
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Old 20th November 2019, 06:39 PM   #5
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I wonder if this applies to staff also. I did a small part of my teacher training in a C of E school (Worksop College, if you're interested), and I had to attend an assembly that was a straight up religious service. Took place in the school chapel (which was easily large enough to accommodate several hundred students), was delivered by the school chaplain, included hymns and a bible lesson.

I didn't object, just went in and did my part. Found the whole thing quite interesting in an anthropological sort of way, but I'd soon tire of it if I had to do it every day. Surely staff have the same rights not to take part in religious services that kids do?
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Old 20th November 2019, 07:32 PM   #6
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Here, lots of people send their kids to ostensibly religious schools simply because they receive both government and private funding and there is a perception that they provide a higher quality of education than the government schools. My own brother, who is as atheist as I am, sent all four of his kids to an Anglican school, and none of them have emerged religious.
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Old 22nd November 2019, 12:58 AM   #7
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I was under the impression that Anglicans just have to believe in the Queen. God is an optional extra
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Old 22nd November 2019, 01:54 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Here, lots of people send their kids to ostensibly religious schools simply because they receive both government and private funding and there is a perception that they provide a higher quality of education than the government schools. My own brother, who is as atheist as I am, sent all four of his kids to an Anglican school, and none of them have emerged religious.
Same here.

Both our kids went to a catholic school. This was because the public school had a bit of a bully problem at that time, and I didn't like the morning prayers at the protestant school.

and it's good they learn a bit about how other people live and believe.

But this being the Netherlands. It is usually only the protestant and Muslim schools that actually do something about religion while in school. Usually the catholic ones are pretty laid-back in this department.
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Old 22nd November 2019, 02:18 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
https://www.theguardian.com/educatio...chool-assembly



This has been a long time coming, and is a major victory for Humanists UK.
My grammar school had a large Jewish contingent so they got around it by sticking mostly to the old testament in assembly. I have to say, though, hymns like 'Stand up, stand up for Jesus' and 'Onward Christian Soldiers!' were firm staples belted out with gusto, so I don't know how well this worked out.
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Old 22nd November 2019, 03:09 AM   #10
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The article describes the school as "an academy with no religious character".
That means that, even though it's CofE, it is not supposed to actually be CofE in any meaningful sense. That would make it secular.
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Old 23rd November 2019, 11:08 AM   #11
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When I was growing up near the city of Walsall in the West midlands of the UK, the school with the best reputation was the Blue Coat School - a C of E school.

I didn't go there, as we were outside their catchment area, but friends did, and none of them were particularly Christian.
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Old 23rd November 2019, 12:29 PM   #12
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Are these CofE schools getting government funding?
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Old 23rd November 2019, 01:35 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Are these CofE schools getting government funding?
Yes
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Old 23rd November 2019, 01:36 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
I was under the impression that Anglicans just have to believe in the Queen. God is an optional extra
What kind of school do they have for those who don't believe the Queen exists?
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Old 24th November 2019, 06:35 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by shemp View Post
What kind of school do they have for those who don't believe the Queen exists?
Fishy schools.
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Old 24th November 2019, 08:14 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Here, lots of people send their kids to ostensibly religious schools simply because they receive both government and private funding and there is a perception that they provide a higher quality of education than the government schools. My own brother, who is as atheist as I am, sent all four of his kids to an Anglican school, and none of them have emerged religious.
I sent all of my children to CofE primary schools for exactly that reason, they were the schools with the best results in our area at that time.
The schools taught about other religions as well though and my children were taught the value of evidence by me at home. None of them became religious.
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Old 24th November 2019, 09:05 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Are these CofE schools getting government funding?
In Australia there was a Supreme Court ruling in, I think, 1986 or thereabouts, that government funding for religious schools was not in breach of Section 116 of the Australian Constitution.
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