Assemblies: What Should They Be Like?

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Love them or hate them assemblies are a legal requirement for all schools; however according to the latest statistics from Ofsted over a third of all schools do not meet the statutory legal requirements.
(see also Mr Moore's teacher column!)

This is an issue we picked up on when Ofsted reported that our school had not been meeting the legal requirements for over 12 years! The reasoning given by the school for this is that there is inadequate room to house daily assemblies for all pupils. Following Ofsted the school action plan simply said that pastoral heads [that heads of year] would be reviewing the situation

But as the statistics suggest we are not alone; the current chief inspector of OFSTED is calling for the law to be changed because schools simply don't have the time and resources to hold daily assemblies. He says it would be far better if there were just assemblies every fortnight or even month and more effort was put into improving registration time.

The other issue we see with assemblies is that, according to the law every school must provide an act of collective, daily worship and that this must be worship with a Christian message. We feel that in today's secularised society this is no longer appropriate; we also feel it is unfair to those of other faiths. Although pupils are not obliged to participate in the worship the opportunity to take part must still be there under law; and this is in our opinion unfair. We would want to see either interfaith services or secular messages which cater for all faiths without excluding those who are not Christian.