Religious Worship in Schools – New Private Members Bill

On 23rd January a Private Members Bill – the Education (Assemblies) Bill –  seeking to reform the law on religious worship in England was introduced in the House of Lords.  The text of this Bill is now available at

It provides that English schools without a religious character would have daily assemblies directed towards furthering the spiritual, moral, social and cultural education of pupils regardless of religion or belief‬.

Staff or pupils could arrange voluntary acts of religious worship but both pupils and parents would have a right to opt out of this. The current law on religious worship would be retained in schools with a religious character and in Wales.

An interesting and common sense proposal in my view. But it is questionable whether there is a need and it is practical for such assemblies to be daily. And in the unlikely event of this becoming law, there would clearly be similar reform from the Welsh Government. Education Minister Kirsty Williams AM has said that such reform is not possible during this Assembly term given her Department’s need to focus on the new Welsh curriculum. However, if this Bill, suitably scrutinised, does this work for them then there would be no reason for the delay.



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