20 January 2008

Collective Worship in Schools

Commenting on government proposals that will most likely abolish the statutory obligation upon schools to hold a daily act of collective worship, Cranmer asks, "is it any coincidence that those schools which take the Christian daily act of collective worship seriously, and do it very well, are invariably those with the highest educational standards, yielding best academic results, turning out some of the most reasonable and most excellent contributors to society?"

As we noted last month, the question is why this should be so. The Church of England's chief education officer suggested it "helps embed strong discipline, a caring attitude, and a sense of purpose." Looking for political guidance, we find that when he was Education Secretary, Alan Johnson noted collective worship in schools "can provide an opportunity not only to worship God but also to consider spiritual and moral issues and to explore their own beliefs. Collective worship can also help to develop community spirit, promote a common ethos and shared values and reinforce positive attitudes."

Assuming that still to be the case, don't we need this for our children now even more than ever?


The Stonemason said...

School worship needs to be done well to be of benefit, which requires commitment and knowledge from the teaching staff. Alternatively, or preferably, additionally, it needs involvement by a minister from a thriving local church. I was very gratified when a teacher at my son's junior school told me that the new vicar was giving some of the best children's talks she'd ever heard.