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Religion in schools (continued)

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Not everyone wants their child to receive RE. 'Parents have the right to withdraw their children from RE lessons or worship,' says a spokeswoman for the Department of Education. If you're worried about the content of the teaching, ask your child's teacher to show you what's planned and discuss any worries you have.

If you feel they're not getting enough, or have concerns about the amount or content of religious teaching, talk to your child's teacher or head teacher. But because time's limited, schools can't be expected to teach each parent's preference. They have to take into account the breadth of their intake and the varied beliefs of their children.

If you feel it's essential that your child is taught your particular religion, you should consider a specialist school that reflects your beliefs, e.g. a church or other religious school.

Do you have to be religious to get into a church school?

It helps, but non-churchgoers are considered by Church of England schools. 'We have 4,509 church primary schools throughout the country, and we're going to increase the number of our secondary schools by I00, bringing the total to 29I,' says a spokesperson.

'We hope this will allow more children in the community to attend, even if their parents don't go to church. We aim to teach children about all religions.' Catholic schools and other Christian denominations can, however, be more difficult to get into if you're not of the right faith.

'I was really upset when our five-year-old son was turned down by our local Catholic primary school,' says Anne Ward*, 35, a full-time mum from Birmingham, who's a Catholic but married to a non-Catholic. 'We were told it was because the school was full, but a neighbour of mine, who applied later, got a place for her son. I think it's because she and her husband are both Catholics. I don't think it's fair that a child should be discriminated against.'

Contacts

The RE Directory of Faith Communities: www.theredirectory.org.uk
Catholic Education Service 020 7901 4880
C of E Board of Education 020 7898 1000
Muslim Council of Britain 0845 26 26 786
Board of Deputies of British Jews 020 7543 5400

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*Name has been changed.

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  1. 1. Religion in schools
  1. 2. Religion in schools (continued)

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