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To all UK parents that want the best non religious education for thier children

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posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 07:36 AM
Dear Parent

I am writing to make sure you are aware that you have the legal right in accordance with Section
71 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 to withdraw your child from RE lessons
and acts of Collective Worship in publicly funded or maintained schools, even if your child goes to
a faith based school.

Withdrawal is easy; no confrontation is necessary. It simply entails writing a short letter similar to
the sample enclosed expressing your desire to have your child withdrawn from RE lessons and
acts of Collective Worship. No explanation need be given. The school is obliged to accede to your

I took the decision to withdraw my children from Collective Worship and RE because I consider religious practice to be a private matter for the home and place of worship; I do not consider school to be an appropriate venue. Furthermore, many parents do not wish to inculcate
their children with a particular religious belief, being happy to let the child reach his or her own conclusions in their own way.

I also disagree with the way RE is taught, especially the tendency to teach religion as fact,
confusing evidence with faith. I am unhappy that children are discouraged, if not forbidden, from expressing a non-believer’s views in RE lessons. Children are generally not allowed to challenge
the claims of religion, nor to offer alternative explanations of events in the universe.

With the exception of RE and Collective Worship, school activities aim to exercise a child’s intellectual capacity and encourage them to think independently. In my opinion, RE and Collective
Worship are tantamount to indoctrination and therefore not in the child’s interests.

I invite you also to write to the school to withdraw your child from RE and Collective Worship. If sufficient parents withdraw their children, we will be in a better position to press for the time to be used giving children additional teaching on academic subjects that will enhance their general
education and career. Even if it is not possible to secure additional teaching time, pupils will be able to devote the time to private study.

If you wish to withdraw your child[ren] from RE, whether for the above reasons or ones of your own, I would encourage you to write to the school immediately. When writing your own letter you are welcome to use the sample I already have (please U2U me for this), or to adapt it.

I should emphasis that I am not seeking to remove any reference to religion at school; it has played an important part in the world’s culture and has a place in such subjects as history and art.
I would also be happy for my children to learn something about comparative religions, provided none were taught as being superior, and non-religious perspectives were also covered on an equal basis. I, perhaps like yourselves, hope that eventually RE will be removed from the school timetable leaving children to pursue their education without being held back by this unnecessary and far from harmless subject.

Yours faithfully


[edit on 6-7-2009 by moocowman]

posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 09:16 AM
I'm not sure how RE is taught at your kids school or your school back in the day, but at my skill RE taught kids the basic principles behind the various faiths in the hope that understanding would bring us closer together.

Whilst I fully support the idea that compulsory worship in the form of hymns or actual church attendance (as my secondary school did on founders day) should not be supported, but I think having your children boycotting RE is going a bit far.

You are indeed correct that faith based learning (whether for or against) should begin at home, but you should be teaching your children enough that they are able to make an informed choice themselves regarding the subject, and certainly to the point where merely hearing how other religions function isnt going to destroy their world view.

posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 09:33 AM
When i was at school it was 95% about christianity...and 3% about Islam and judaism was the topic of the day had nothing to do with learning about various religions and the role they played in history and current events.I never once saw a qur'an yet i was handed a christian bible everytime i entered the class.We basically sat and read the bible then dissected quotes from it and talked about them...not what RE should be about imo.Of course i dont know if i just went to a bad school

[edit on 6-7-2009 by Solomons]

posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 10:23 AM
reply to post by Solomons

When i was at school it was 95% about christianity...and 3% about Islam and judaism was the topic of the day had nothing to do with learning about various religions and the role they played in history and current events.

That is exactly how it was when I was at school both RE teacher were both xtians (and as it turned out one was a pedophile) so neither we likely to inform a kid of other religions, which they didn't.

From what I've seen of my childs books and have heard nothing has changed in this particular school.

I never once saw a qur'an yet i was handed a christian bible everytime i entered the class.

My child was handed xtian scripture the first day of school, the indoctrination (although mild) takes place at assembly .

posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 10:34 AM
reply to post by gYvMessanger

but I think having your children boycotting RE is going a bit far.

Why should my children be subjected to another persons opinion of a belief of religion that is by its' very nature subjective.

As far as I'm concerned a simple awareness that other people believe in things that don't necessarily require evidence of their reality should be enough and this is quite easily available from home.

All the children require is -- "Some people believe this--" not an in depth study of why they believe, as that is subjective.

Anything like ceremonies can be covered by history if relevant, but ceremonies and such are only relevant when they have had an impact in history.

But there again why promote awareness of individual religions ? as it only serves to promote that particular belief system.

Surely it's enough to teach our kids that some people believe in supernatural beings for many different reasons and leave it at that ?

posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 11:36 AM
Well I think an agruement could certainly me made that it would be more fitting to integrate RE into Social Studies.

I dont know what your kids get to do instead of going to the 30mins of RE they would have had scheduled for the week, if there school is anything like my old one then they sit on the library doing whatever it is they want to do, well they are your kids if they are happy with it and your happy with it thats all that matters.

I can see issues arising with other kids for them getting to skip lessons, but i doubt any of the teachers could care less about RE either, other than perhaps the RE teachers themselves.

At my secondary school however we frequently visited various places of worship, looked into various teaching of islam, buddism, hiduism and jewdiasm as well as christanity. I remember in my second year we had to right an essay about "what i believe in" i wrote something based around norse mythology and got a B, so at the end of the day I guess like every other class your child will be exposed to in public schools it depends very much on the teacher and the receiver.

posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 12:45 PM
reply to post by gYvMessanger

Yes I much agree with what you have to say especially in relation to religion being fitted in with social studies, nothing wrong with that at all in my book.

Having children that are opted out of RE and or Assembly (the ones that require worshiping a deity) wondering around or left to their own devices is totally unacceptable.

I'm sorry to say but I will not compromise on assembly in that it's only purpose in the school should be for the sharing of information not religious worship of any sort.

When it comes to RE it is simply a matter of the school making it clear to parents ,what exactly can be expected from RE and the teachers that are involved with it. Also provision must be made for those who do not wish their children to take RE and extra time given to other more down to earth subjects like spelling Kwik or discovering a burger comes form a dead cow (supposedly).


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