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School assemblies

March 2014

The Humanist Society of Scotland and the Church of Scotland have made a joint submission calling for the law on religious observance in schools to be changed.

The joint submission calls for the government to create instead an ‘inclusive’ time for reflection instead of a religious element to school assemblies, to make it more inclusive for those of different faith backgrounds or no faith at all.

Following the submission, which went to the petition committee of the Scottish government, there will be discussion of a petition to make religious observance in schools an opt-in activity.

Rabbi Dr Jonathan Roman, chairman of the Accord Coalition, said he welcomed the ‘historic’ agreement between the two groups. He said, ‘Let schools provide high-quality religious education, but religious instruction and prayers should be reserved for the home and places of worship’.

The rabbi called on the Anglican and Catholic Churches to re-examine their position towards assemblies, adding that the Department for Education at Westminster and Department for Education and Skills in Cardiff should revisit their guidance on assemblies.




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