Schools failing to obey law on daily worship

First Edition

HARDLY any secondary schools are obeyingkeeping either the spirit or the letter of the law on daily worship, according to aschool inspectors' report published yesterday, writes Judith Judd.

The report from the Office for Standards in Education , which lambasts standards in RE, is a blow to John Patten, the Secretary of State for Education, who is trying to give RE religious education and collective worship a higher profile.

The first official investigation of the effect of the Government's 1988 legislation, which requires a daily act of worshipwhich is 'wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character',it suggests the Government should think again about how the law is implemented and says says 96 detailed inspections revealed that no secondary school fully complied with the letter of the law.

The report also says that at least 20 per cent of primary schools are not teaching RE at all; only half offer satisfactory RE lessons. which are satisfactory or better. The vast majority of secondary schools did not provide enough time for RE for pupils aged between 14 and 16.

John Sutton, general secretary of the Secondary Heads Association, said it had been difficult for most secondary schools to comply with the law on collective worship for many years.

Religious Education and Collective Worship; by the Office for Standards in Education;published by HMSO.