Look at again, for correcting 18/10/2008
School Worship Rule to be Relaxed
School pupils aged 16 and above are to be given a legal right to “absent themselves” from collective worship.
Getting very slowly out of the ‘Gutter’ in the UK ?
Under current law all state schools “must provide daily collective worship for all registered pupils” apart from those withdrawn by their parents.
A Catch ’22’ Law?
As a parent this is an unpractical situation, it is divisive and discriminatory. Withdrawal of children from an Assembly, quite rightly is not advised by Secular or Humanist Organisations. What, a poor example authority sets for our children. Are those law makers the people who deride our children or young adult’s behaviour? Of course, the law maker’s behaviour, relatively, is a thousand times worse, and can cause some of the on going problems of extremism or even: an adverse reaction to any sensible authority. Parent authority and ‘family cohesion is undermined by the (above) law. As parents we have a duty to teach our children inclusiveness and non-discrimination, and to unscramble the taught scary superstition and silly-myths. Amongst the other myriad, of obvious, outdated traditions and the usurpation’s that are inherent in appalling standard of Schools. The Church is above the Law on Discrimination.
See, below. Respect for authority is the last thing to teach, if ever this is needed at all! How to handle freedom: the first thing that ever should be taught; it will give children the greatest respect for all, inclusively, with truth, and not the current ethos’s (fiction’s) to base their future life on! The situation that exists in our Schools at present, is, as if: ‘September the 11th’ and other ‘terrorist activity’ never really happened or that our ‘social history’, somehow, is glorious. Also, it is, as if: we are behaving as though – we are all only living in the isolated structure of our own Village, Town, or Country, and not in the Globalised World: burying ourselves in isolated and dangerous psychotic illusions.
Schools seem to of become some sort of ridiculous, and mini localised, ‘theocratic sub- cultural villages’ in the UK: with their own brand of twisted divisive selection, discipline, and inquisitions for parents and children alike. Enabling, secret sessions (unelected forums of power, with little reporting) in Dioceses and within Schools i.e. Some Teachers and Governors of Schools, within our Local Authorities: they can manage and control their own brands of schools to suit: not a, National or Internationally agreed, non-divisive, non-discriminatory remit, but one all of their own and outside any law!
How scary, is this? As a Parent, I have only just found this out. Our children’s thoughts are influenced before their critical faculties are developed: by only a very few authoritarians, within a very small quango! About 150 such variations and quangoes exist!
Check this out on your Local Authorities’ web site or Education/OFSTED and Church site? Follow links. SACRE NASACRE.
I think that many parents are coping with this situation, but that they have got used to dealing with the disconnect situation in general and within in our society: they tend to ride out, without any fuss, what exists at present for a peaceful life. Many do not realise the wonderful and more gratifying alternatives to the shallowness of religion that is being taught in RE and the School Assemblies.
Channel 4 Dispatches ‘What Muslims Want’ Jon Snow. Niall Ferguson, points out in his book, ‘The War Of The World’ – History’s Age Of Hatred that ethnic violence and then war, has not been caused by a low, or even, a high degree of assimilation between cultures or races. War and ethnic violence can happen at any time, whilst this process of assimilation is taking place – in any country with a diverse population. Humankind, just has; an over-riding ambition to resort back to primitive tribal behaviour. See, the rest of the blog and download (as text or rss) for future reference, as most of this is explained more fully (if required).
Now education minister Lord Adonis has adopted an amendment brought by the Liberal Democrat Baroness Walmsley.
Baroness Walmsley argued 16-year-olds could pay tax and get married, yet could not refuse to worship.
She moved the amendment during the Education and Inspections Bill’s Lords committee stage.
“There is no justification for forcing young people to take part in a religious service with which they do not agree. Freedom of worship or non-worship in this case, is a basic part of our rights as citizens of a free country,”
Baroness Joan Walmsley said.
“Forcing young people to attend religious services is self-defeating. If we want young people to behave more maturely, we have to give them responsibility for their own decisions over such personal issues as religion.”
“It has seemed intolerable to us that young people are being forced to worship at school, sometimes against their will”.
Keith Porteous Wood
National Secular Society
Lord Adonis said: “We accept most of the amendment and I will seek to move an appropriate amendment at report stage.”
Under current legislation, maintained schools in England and Wales “must provide daily collective worship for all registered pupils” that is “wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character”.
If the head teacher and governing body feel that a broadly Christian act of worship is not suitable, the head can apply to the local Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education to have the Christian content requirement lifted.
Schools in Scotland are told to provide opportunities for religious observance “at least six times in a school year” and are encouraged to use Christian resources.
Lord Adonis’s decision follows a report in the Times Educational Supplement last week about a revolt by a group of pupils at St Luke’s College in Bexley, south London – a Catholic sixth-form college – over compulsory attendance at Mass.
Legal threat dropped.
The decision was welcomed by the National Secular Society.The society said it would now drop the possibility of a legal challenge to collective worship on human rights grounds.
Executive director Keith Porteous Wood said:
“This is very good news indeed. It has seemed intolerable to us that young people are being forced to worship at school, sometimes against their will. It is self-evidently a breach of their human rights. Indeed, it can be argued from a human rights perspective that the age limit for self-exemption should be lower”.
The church is quite happy to allow 14-year-olds to confirm their commitment to Christianity, yet it will not accept that other children of that age can feel equally certain that they don’t believe.”
Note:-Young children or young adults, and the vulnerable, do not have critical faculty that is fully developed. Therefore, it is more abusive to indoctrinate, at a young age, let alone when they are older!
Segregation warning over schools.
Tony Blair’s flagship education reforms could increase racial segregation and destabilise communities, the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) has warned. Evidence suggests that – given unlimited choice – parents would band together along racial lines, CRE policy chief Nick Johnson told MPs.
Such segregation was bad for society as it bred political and religious extremism, he argued.
An education department spokesman said the reforms will reduce segregation.
But Mr Johnson told the MPs that people in the UK were increasingly leading “parallel lives,” both “residentially and socially”.
“They don’t get a chance to interact with different people socially and if that is happening in schools then that sets people up to be segregated for life,” he told the committee.
He said the problem was not so much the government’s backing for faith schools, which often recruited from diverse socio-economic and ethnic groups, but its promotion of Trust Schools.
There is evidence that, to some degree, parental choice can increase segregation Nick Johnson, director of policy and public sector, CRE
Such schools will be given more freedom over budgets and admissions and are a key plank of the government’s education bill which last month completed its stormy passage through parliament.
But Mr Johnson said the CRE was concerned Trust Schools could threaten community cohesion, without proper safeguards in place.
“There is evidence that, to some degree, parental choice can increase segregation because there is an instinct to be with people like yourself and that parents tend to make that choice.
“So I think there is a concern about just allowing pure parental choice.”
He said he “welcomed” proposals to force Trust Schools to promote “community cohesion” but added every school should have a duty to make sure its intake was “varied”.
“Our fear is that extremism is far more likely to develop in areas that are segregated,” he said.
The reason for this, he argued, is that “it is far easier to spread myths and misinformation and drum people up against each other if you are not encountering other people, because you are more likely to believe those myths.”
He acknowledged the CRE had become increasingly critical, under chairman Trevor Phillips, of the brand of multiculturalism practised by some local authorities, which emphasised “the differences between communities rather than what united communities”.
And he said this had prompted “a need to look at focusing on what can unite people, and that’s starting in the classroom but through all walks of life”.
He also told the committee there needed to be a “stronger” British identity.
But a spokesman for the Department for Education argued that no school was allowed to admit students by reference to ethnicity, and to do so would breach Race Discrimination legislation.
“Many faith schools are ethnically diverse. For example, Catholic schools are more diverse than non-faith schools,” he said.
“We have always been clear that our reforms will reduce segregation – there is nothing in our Education Bill that will increase it.
“On the contrary we have placed a specific duty on Trusts to promote community cohesion.
“In addition, fair play in admissions and a schools commissioner will ensure that schools are accessible for people from all backgrounds and have an ethos that promotes understanding of different cultures, races and religions.”
A Liberal Democrat MP, Evan Harris, said schools were not the place for religious moralising about sexual orientation.
“Religious organisations need to understand that they must save that for the pulpit, not the classroom,” Dr Harris said.
“It is completely wrong for educational establishments, particularly those that are state funded, to be exempt from the requirement not to discriminate on grounds of sexual orientation.”
In its response to the government plans, the Church of England said:
“Church schools do not seek actively to convert children but to provide an experience of what it is to live in a community that celebrates the Christian faith.”
But the way the proposed regulations would apparently have an impact upon the curriculum in all state schools.
Issues could be raised as to whether the content of worship or sex education was consistent with them.
Schools had to ensure the needs of all pupils were met, and the direct promotion of sexual orientation was not allowed.
‘Highly undesirable’. They have to retain the ‘Right to Discriminate’ to remain above the law. (Disgusting Fact!)
The church argued that a general duty not to discriminate would mean changing that framework. (How difficult is this for them?)
It “would not only fail to offer any significant additional benefits, but, more seriously, would expose schools to a real risk of costly legal challenges”. (Why not? Like the ordinary people or has God given them some upper-hand)
“That seems highly undesirable,” it said. (Of course)
My note:- Most ‘normal’ people would think this highly desirable! But, ‘normal’ people don’t seem to be in power! Only ‘vested interests’ seem to be in this particular realm.
Of any sort – could find a conflict with their need “to operate in a way that is consistent with their school’s ethos”.
Current sex education guidance from the Department for Education and Skills let schools teach in a way that was consistent with their ethos, it said.
Faith schools might also be required to make their premises equally available to groups whose purposes were “inconsistent with their ethos” – upsetting staff and parents.
How awfully ghastly !
In my experience with my own children (well before their critical faculties are developed), the twins now aged seven that go to an advanced school in the UK: they are disgracefully muddled, principally by the horrendously fundamentalist religious Assembly and some over religious Teachers’ or those teachers that are too lazy to bother with any real answers. When asked the question “about who created or what created the World” they say “God”. This charlatanism of the worst kind: it is against ‘Human Rights’ and ‘Child Rights’. It is also against most parents wishes as the knowledge of the creation of our world and human evolution is now recognised by all, excepting, for a minority of cranks and self-interested charlatans.
You can withdraw your children from Assembly, but Secular or Humanist Organisations do not recommend this. Assembly in Schools in the UK do have a multi functional purpose. Unfortunately, religion does ride on the back of the other serious and real subjects, there is no such thing as an Ethos or Ethos’s based on mythological imaginings in today’s world of knowledge and communication.
Scientists urge evolution lessons. The world’s top scientists have joined forces to call for “evidence-based” Teaching of evolution in schools.
A statement signed by 67 national science academies says evidence on the origins of life is being “concealed, denied, or confused” in some classes. t lists key facts on evolution that “scientific evidence has never contradicted”.
These include the formation of Earth 4.5 billion years ago and the onset of life at least 2.5 billion years ago.
“We know of schools in various parts of the world where the children are told that the Earth is about 8,000 years old,” said Yves Quere, co-chair of the Inter Academy Panel on International Issues, the global network of science academies. So in this statement we say you cannot teach this to children, it is wrong”!
Dr Quere said the statement reflected growing concern within the scientific community that children were not being taught basic facts on evolution and the nature of scientific inquiry.
“In some (many) countries, the simple theory of evolution is denied in the teaching of children in schools,” he said.
The academies’ statement says:
“We urge decision-makers, teachers, and parents to educate all children about the methods and discoveries of science and to foster an understanding of the science of nature”.
“Knowledge of the natural world in which they live empowers people to meet human needs and protect the planet.”
‘EVIDENCE-BASED’ FACTS. The Earth has changed under the effect of numerous forces since its formation, and continues to do so. Since life first appeared on Earth, it has taken many forms, all of which continue to evolve.
Commonalities in the structure of the genetic code of all organisms living today, including humans, clearly indicate their primordial origin
Its release follows fierce debate about whether so-called intelligent design (ID) should be taught in biology courses in schools, mainly in the US. Adherents to ID maintain that many features of the Universe and of living things are too complex to have been the result of natural selection.
Instead, they argue, these phenomena must have been designed by a highly intelligent force.
Last year, a group of parents successfully took a school board in Dover, Pennsylvania, to court to stop the teaching of ID in science classes. www.world-of-dawkins.com Professor Richard Dawkins FRS. Many books and TV series, ‘Root Of All Evil’?