chapter  11
11 Pages

Collective Worship

ByDerek Webster

School worship has been a feature of school life in Great Britain for centuries. Yet it was not until the 1944 Education Act that it became a legal requirement. This requirement was reaffirmed and modified in the 1988 Education Reform Act and the 1993 Education Act. It offers teachers an opportunity to raise important questions of meaning and value for their pupils. These questions arise from teachers’ specialist subject areas, e.g. Science, Geography, Information Technology, as well as their own experiences. Such questions are significant for pupils in secondary schools because they offer a means of thinking about themselves, of forming their values, developing their attitudes and coming to terms with their own feelings. Indeed, at its best collective worship contributes to the understanding of how to live in the global society of the new millennium. Seen in this light, it is an asset available to all teachers. Instead of being a tiresome daily ritual, an irritant to the senior management team or the RE department, it can be an exciting instrument to be used by schools as they work to achieve their educational ends.