Scottish Government to re-examine obligatory collective worship in schools

As we have previously noted, children in Scotland (and in Northern Ireland) do not have the right to withdraw themselves from collective school worship without parental permission even if they are aged sixteen or over. Originally dating from 1872, the current law on religious observance in Scottish schools is set out in the Education (Scotland) Act 1980, as amended, and the latest guidance from the Scottish Government was issued in 2011 – though since 2005, Scottish schools have been required to make parents aware that they can remove their children from religious education and observance.

After that situation was roundly criticised by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Humanist Society Scotland launched a judicial review of the Scottish Government’s refusal to allow sixth-form students to opt out of religious observance. Continue reading