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lindagray

United Kingdom. Countries that permit school-sponsored prayer

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In England and Wales, the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 states that all pupils in state schools must take part in a daily act of collective worship, unless their parents request that they be excused from attending. The majority of these acts of collective worship are required to be "wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character", with two exceptions:

Religious schools, which should provide worship appropriate to the school's religion (although most religious schools in the UK are Christian)
Schools where the local education authority's Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education has determined that Christian worship would not be appropriate for part or all of the school.

 

Despite this statutory requirement for schools to hold a daily act of collective worship, most do not. Ofsted's 2002-03 annual report, for example, stated that 80% of secondary schools were not providing daily worship for all pupils.

The Department of Education in England states that all schools must maintain religious prayer in schools in order to reflect the beliefs and traditions of the country, which is predominantly of the Christian faith. However, a recent BBC radio study shows that 64% of children (out of 500) do not attend or participate in daily acts of worship or prayer. Regarding public opinion in the United Kingdom for mandated school prayer, the numbers are relatively similar. In fact, a 2011 survey conducted by BBC found that 60% of parents (out of the 1,743 questioned) believed that the legislation that requires group worship should not be enforced at all. Although parents do retain the right to officially keep their children from taking part in daily worship, there are critics who claim the legislation should be changed or discarded completely in order to allow for religious freedom and cater to the wants of parents, children, and staff.

wikipedia.org

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