• Collective Worship in Schools

    09 August 2019

    Dear Constituent,

    Thank you for contacting me about collective worship in schools.

    I believe collective worship plays an important role in schools. It encourages children to reflect on belief and helps shape fundamental British values of tolerance, respect and understanding for others. Many schools find that it develops a community spirit, promotes a common ethos and shared values, and reinforces positive attitudes. All state-funded schools must provide a daily act of worship for all registered pupils up to the age of 18. For local authority schools this requirement is enshrined in legislation and for academy schools it forms part of their funding agreement.

    I understand your concerns but parents have the right to withdraw their children from all or any part of collective worship, and sixth-form pupils have the right to withdraw themselves if they do not want to participate.

    As I understand it, the Government does not plan to change the requirements for a daily act of collective worship. Schools can tailor their provision to suit the needs of their pupils and, as I mentioned, parents can choose to withdraw their children from it if they do not feel it meets their needs.

    Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

    Yours sincerely,

    Mel Stride MP

    MP for Central Devon