On 26th May, Welsh Education Minister Jeremy Miles took part in a Q&A on Twitter. I asked him the following question:
Following the transformation of Religion, Values and Ethics under the Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Act, is it now time for Wales to continue to take the lead by reforming the outdated, discriminatory and unworkable law on religious worship in schools?
To which he replied:
Collective worship does not form part of the current National Curriculum, nor is it to be a part of the future Curriculum for Wales. I don’t have plans to review collective worship policy but I will listen to stakeholders’ views on it.
Collective worship is separate to the curriculum but it is notable that when significant curriculum reform was previously made in the 1940s and 1980s, this included not only reforms as to the teaching of religion in schools but also religious worship.
By contrast, recent curriculum reforms in Wales have transformed the law on the teaching of religion in schools but have left untouched the law on religious worship.
The criticisms that previously applied to the law on religious education in terms of it being outdated, non-human rights compliant and unworkable apply even more so in relation to religious worship.
For a detailed account of the history of the law and the recent Welsh reforms, see my forthcoming book: https://anthempress.com/religion-in-schools-learning-lessons-from-wales-pb
For discussion of how the Schools Bill currently before Parliament could be used as a vehicle for reform of the law on religious worship (and religious education in England) see my recent blog posts: