posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 07:36 AM
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the sample enclosed expressing your desire to have your child withdrawn from RE lessons and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.
[edit on 6-7-2009 by moocowman]