Our school is an academy. Do we need to offer Collective Worship?
Yes. All schools and academies are legally required to provide a daily act of Collective Worship ‘wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character.’ Schools and academies with sixth forms should provide this for all students up to 18.
Do we have to provide an assembly every day?
Not necessarily. The daily act of Collective Worship could take place in any place or any time in the school day – for example, as part of circle time in primary schools or within tutorial times with secondary-age students.
What does ‘wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character’ mean?
The ‘mainly Christian character’ suggests that the message and/or values shared within the act of worship are, broadly speaking, Christian. This reflects the Christian heritage of the UK, and the fact that the majority of religiously-affiliated people in the UK identify as Christian. This said, worship should be inclusive, acknowledging and respecting the diversity of beliefs which our children share.
What do I do if I feel that Christian worship is not appropriate for my students, who are largely from a non-Christian faith background?
It is possible for your school to apply for a determination. You would still provide a daily act of worship, but not necessarily of a mainly Christian character. If you would like more advice on what this means, please speak to our SACRE adviser.
Is there a right to withdraw from Collective Worship?
Yes. As with RE, parents retain the right to withdraw their children from Collective Worship. Students over the age of 16 may withdraw themselves.
For a complete explanation of the legal requirements surrounding Collective Worship, please refer to Bristol SACRE’s Guidance on Collective Worship: Time to Breathe.