Minister of State for Educational Standards reminded schools in England and Wales to comply with the requirement to have a daily act of collective worship.
MP Nick Gibb, in a written response to a question from MP Sir John Hayes, said the Department of Education (DfE) would investigate schools reported to be in breach of the law and advise on how they can do their duty.
Under the School Standards and Framework Act 1998, publicly funded schools are required to conduct acts of collective worship “wholly or primarily of a largely Christian character.”
Last month Sir John wrote to the Secretary of State asking what steps the DfE was taking “to ensure that a daily act of worship takes place in every school maintained”.
Responding on behalf of the Secretary of Education, Gibb said, “Every school, academy and free school maintained is necessary to ensure that collective worship takes place every day.
“If the ministry is made aware that a school may violate this requirement, it will be investigated.
“Where appropriate, the Department will remind schools of their duty in this matter and advise on how this can be met. “
53% of 2,680 Twitter poll respondents said their schools do not offer a daily act of collective worship
Following the announcement, an informal survey of primary teachers found that a significant proportion of their schools were in breach of their statutory obligations.
According to a report published in Tes online, 53% of 2,680 people polled in a Twitter poll said their schools do not offer a daily act of collective worship.
Elementary colleagues… following the news that we might be investigated if we don’t have daily collective worship, I was wondering, is this happening in your school? Do you have daily collective worship?
– Ian Addison ️ (@ianaddison) April 14, 2021
Christian Institute Education Officer John Denning said: “The law is clear. State-funded schools in England and Wales are required to provide a daily act of collective worship that is wholly or primarily of a largely Christian character, unless they have been granted an exemption, which is rare.
“The minister’s statement encourages parents to raise concerns about violations of the law and report them to his ministry if necessary. The Christian Institute is happy to help parents in this process.
Minister’s statement encourages parents to raise concerns about breaches of the law
“Some schools find this assignment difficult, so Christian teachers and local churches might consider how they could help schools perform these acts of worship. “
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