Reply to : Religion in Schools. UK. REBT & Disconnection. DfES, Ofsted, NASACRE, Dorset SACRE. Church Schools, Faith Schools.

Reply to : Religion in Schools. UK. REBT & Disconnection. 
BBC Action Network. 
I too have had cause to write about religion in schools. I forget who it was
that I fired of this letter to (below), about ‘educational inclusion’ and the
‘act of collective worship’.
"As an Ofsted team inspector of many years, about to attend training in
"Evaluating Educational Inclusion", I have just discovered something which I
have long suspected. The requirement of every school to hold a daily act of
collective worship is contrary to the principle of educational inclusion. It
should be revoked.
In the light of the drive towards educational inclusion, and the findings of the
Macpherson report, I believe it is the duty of every headteacher to apply to the
Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE) for a determination
that the requirement for Christian collective worship should not apply to his or
her school. This is because the statute that requires a daily act of worship
which, over a term must be broadly Christian in character, is contrary to good
race relations.
Macpherson says, "Unwitting racism can arise because of a lack of understanding,
ignorance or mistaken beliefs. It can arise from well intentioned but
patronising words or actions. It can arise from unfamiliarity with the behaviour
or cultural traditions of people or families from minority ethnic communities".
An act of worship is a very personal matter. It is an act of faith. Whilst few
head teachers would attempt to insist that school children should worship,
nevertheless even to persuade them towards one particular form of worship is
discriminatory and prejudicial to personal liberty.
I recently inspected a school where ‘white’ faces made up less than half of the
classroom landscape. Of these, many were immigrants and refugees from all over
Europe. Amongst the ‘black’ faces were many shades of brown. Almost as numerous
were the cultural and religious backgrounds represented. To thrust ‘broadly
Christian’ worship on these young people would have been thoughtless and
patronising. Even the devoutly Christian amongst them might (quite rightly)
object, insisting that, for them, the worship be wholly Christian in character.
No, it is best that religious worship is kept out of schools. By all means study
the philosophy of religion; explore the diverse cultural forms and expressions
of past and present life, or engage in informed debate about the rights and
responsibilities of living in a multicultural society. But not worship, which
means the submission to a divine being.
As an inspector I strenuously pursue the development of spiritual, moral, social
and cultural development of pupils, believing it to be their entitlement. If we
are ever to eliminate racial and religious prejudice we must also dispense with
the arbitrary insistence on ‘broadly Christian’ worship. Our children are
entitled to be free from this dogma, which can only stir up or reinforce
Nowadays we assess ‘spirituality’, which is so broadly defined that it includes
almost anything that brings a lump to the throat, or a tear to the eye and the
better the ‘ethos’, the better the spirituality.
Even ‘broadly Christian’ is almost meaningless. If you ever read the Reverend
Peter Graham’s monthly letter in the Lydden Vale News you’ll get my drift. His
aim is to get people to question everything.
However, I would not go as far as to suggest that children will be
psychologically damaged by religion in schools. Children learn about life, the
universe and everything basically through storytelling – listening to and making
up stories. The more rich and varied the stories, the better. And it is fair to
say, religions do have some pretty good stories. Children will learn to decide
for themselves what to believe or not believe.
Note :
I do not agree fully with the above, as can be seen below, but am very thankful for the input. 

About luckyme0

My First family, second marriage, bringing up my 18-year-old twins, boy, and girl. I am a third generation Humanist, who has some old handwritten information and notes; collected over many years. Someone may find the articles interesting, or helpful. They could bring back a little ‘reality’, after being ‘shocked’ and ‘brainwashed’, by some malicious group, or institution (REBT Therapy). People should know better, than to do this, to our very young, and the ‘obviously’ vulnerable! Go to easily accessible, non-superstitious knowledge that is not charlatanism! The blog has given me an incentive to order my thoughts, learn, and read up again, after a few non-thinking years of (very silly) imagination and passion. Why not, get your own key to a ‘door’, customise it to suit you, and it can be, all of your very own! Don’t believe, or be led by someone else’s; inherited, stupid, and a very likely (past, and not of today’s) ‘totally preposterous reality’s’. Only some interest in the ‘really big questions’, keeps life above the level of a farce, and very little else! KEEP THINKING! Some of the posts may need some correcting. Interests: REBT Counselling, Atheism, Secularism, Humanism, Psychology, Reading, Popular Science, School Ethos, Philosophy, History, Family, Parenting, Psychology, Horse Riding, Sailing, Rescue Boat Driver, Skiing (Teppichswinger), TV Documentaries, Motorbike Cross Country Riding, Volunteer Sports Stewarding, Writing, Primitive Man, Pre-history, Social Anthropology, British Humanist Association, BHA, Meaning of Life, The Big Questions, Where am I, What am I, Why am I, Hippie Love, Knowledge, Education, Globalisation. Favorite quote: “The world belongs to those who, at least to some degree, have figured it out.” Carl Sagan, ‘The Demon Haunted World’, ‘Contact’, and other famous books DVD ‘Cosmos’. The warning of another and horrendous, “Age of Superstition”. “Isn’t there something deeply absurd in the presumption that children ought to inherit beliefs from their parents. It can be deeply damaging, even lethally divisive. A ‘them’, with an ‘against us’, mentality” – Professor Richard Dawkins. “The will to believe is stronger than mere reason in the vast majority of people” – Dr J.Brown, Army Psychologist of the 1960′s. Humans will believe in almost anything, in fact, they seek it! Why? “98% of us, trained to be just good consumers, let’s train our children to be the 2% who have their very own creativity and discernment”; quote by a famous surreal artist. “The lack of reason brings forth monsters”. “Global interconnectedness is lethal against mass religion, nationalism, racism, and other destructive memeplexes. Let us connect everybody they hate it in restrictive regimes”; from the ‘meme learning group’, Richard Brodie’s book, ‘Virus Of The Mind’ (Richard Brodie a designer for ‘Microsoft Word’). Following on, J.Bronowski, and ‘The Ascent Of Man’ TV series, and a book with the last DVD in this series, ‘The Long Childhood’ being especially revealing. ‘Prehistory’ and the ‘Making of the Human Mind’ by Colin Renfrew, with P.Wilson’s, ‘The Domestication of the Human Species’, and Nigel Spivey’s, TV series and book, ‘How Art Made The World’, offers some further explanations. Latest reading: Jared Diamond
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