Religion title call over Scottish school assemblies

Assembly Parents are entitled to withdraw their children from religious observance assemblies in schools

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Calls are being made for a "symbolic change" to the description of religious assemblies in some schools.

The Church of Scotland and the Scottish Humanist Society have told MSPs the title "religious observance" in non-denominational schools is outdated.

They said changing the legal definition to "time for reflection" could ease the concerns of parents who withdraw their children from such events.

They claimed this would give more pupils the chance to explore faiths.

The groups have made their call in a submission to MSPs on Holyrood's petitions committee.

The law requires religious observance, such as assemblies, in schools.

However, since a change in government guidelines in 2005, assemblies should be aimed at children of all faiths and none.

The Church of Scotland and the Scottish Humanist Society argued that this now often means assemblies would be more accurately called a "time for reflection".

Their joint submission to the petitions committee states: "The change to a more equal and inclusive 'time for reflection' would echo the current practice of the Scottish Parliament, and bring legislation into line with modern views.

"It will also remove the current focus on 'religion', with which many non-religious people struggle."

The Free Church of Scotland said the proposal was a "disaster" for both Christians and children.

The Scottish government believes the current legislation and guidance is appropriate.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 365.

    "....It is a very fine line between educating children in various faiths..and indoctrination into a specific faith.....if you tell them every day the world was created in 7 days that is what they will believe despite other views.
    ...If you recognise that, won't you credit teachers with the the same insight? I think you might underestimate today's children and their teachers.


  • rate this

    Comment number 364.


    "Keep this mumbo jumbo out of school."

    Totally agree.

    Some of the poor people whose heads have been filled with utter drivel from a very early age, are in serious trouble.
    It's not only the physical abuses the Church administers that should be brought to scrutiny.

  • rate this

    Comment number 363.

    Can't we just take religion out of schools ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 362.

    No religion should get its slimey, lying claws on your kid at school...

    Not on their minds or on their bodies.

  • rate this

    Comment number 361.

    @258: "If you don't your child to go to a religious assembly don't send them to a religious school."

    Which school would that be then? Schools are either denominational (single Christian sect, mostly Roman Catholic) or non-denominational (Christian, but not pandering to a particular sect). There is no such thing as a 'non-religious' taxpayer-funded school in Scotland.

  • rate this

    Comment number 360.

    An RE teacher (a creationist Christian) told our class that the world was only 5,700 & somthing years old. She said that you can prove this age by adding the ages of all the characters in the old testament + time since Christ.

    When challenged with dinosaur fossils millions of years old she said "placed in the ground by god to fool the wicked"

    Keep this mumbo jumbo out of school.

  • rate this

    Comment number 359.

    Yet more pandering to the ethnic minorities.
    Based on a legal case brought by a Scottish white woman from Edinburgh.

    Ethnic minority? Only in your prejudice:)

  • Comment number 358.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 357.


    "You have a right to believe what you want. You don't have a right to force me to agree with you."

    Can we have that in writing please ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 356.

    No doubt it will offend the Muslims as usual so they'll get special dispensation again as usual

    there are no muslim schools in Scotland, this proposal would affect any incorporation of muslim worship in assemblies in exactly the same way as it would affect incorporation of christian worship - not very much except in name

  • Comment number 355.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 354.


    NO. We are NOT all like that. You SHOULD question everything you are told, and make your own mind up. This is what I teach my child.

    My church is independent. It is affiliated to, but not governed by, a larger group of churches, but this is for collective gatherings and resources, not for power. Noone within my church claims any spiritual authority over another.

  • rate this

    Comment number 353.

    Sadly, this is all about market share. Elements within the Church of Scotland have decided that the abolition of all 'faith schools', including Catholic schools, serves their interests. In order to prepare the ground for this, all overt expressions of Christianity need to be removed from 'non-denominational' schools; the only ones in fact where the CoS retains any influence over Scottish children.

  • rate this

    Comment number 352.

    "I direct you to their philosophy of dialectical materialism, and the writings of Marx, and, especially, Vladimir Lenin."

    I must have missed the chapter of Das Kapital or The Communist Manifesto where it says: "go out and kill people in the name of Atheism."

    Could you provide a page reference to the sections I clearly missed?

  • rate this

    Comment number 351.

    We should copy the Americans and keep religion out of all state-funded schools. Those who want to brainwash their children into whatever form of superstition they support can pay for the schools in which to do it or use their own time with their children to do it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 350.


    Media outfits like the BBC are seriously mistaken in giving atheist opinions equal weight and prominence to those of bone fide religious leaders.


    A good demonstration of arrogance by those of religious persuasion. What is being said here is how dare you question religion. Its leaders know what is best for you. And no one is allowed to have a differing opinion.

  • rate this

    Comment number 349.

    I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.

  • rate this

    Comment number 348.

    The politicians keep telling us they will modernise this country.Until they seperate church from state along with many other outdated functions.That will not happen.

  • rate this

    Comment number 347.

    Stalin on the other hand was an atheist, as was Mao, as was Pol Pot. 100 million dead.
    If your 'god' knew this would happen why was it allowed:)

    And why didn't your 'god' stop all the centuries-long killing in his name?

  • rate this

    Comment number 346.

    Remove the Christian ethos from Scottish schools at your peril. It will leave a void for Islam to fill and within 20 years It will be the Islamic State of Scotland.

    Islam will demand representation in schools and with the teaching of christianity outlawed by the humanist lobby, the politically correct cultural marxists will submit to Islam because that's the politically correct thing to do.


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