Schools will be investigated if they do not provide collective worship - Government

(Photo: Pexels/Jessica Lewis)

Schools minister Nick Gibb has said that schools will be "investigated" if they fail to meet their obligations on providing collective worship.

The threat was made in a written response to a question from Conservative MP Sir John Hayes, who asked what steps the Department for Education (DfE) was taking "to ensure that a daily act of worship is taking place in every maintained school?"

In reply, Mr Gibb said: "Every maintained school, academy and free school is required to ensure that collective worship takes place each day.

"If the department is informed that a school may be in breach of this requirement, it will be investigated. Where needed, the department will remind schools of their duty on this matter and advise on how this can be met."

Guidance from the DfE says that maintained schools have a duty to provide a daily act of worship. Parents are permitted to withdraw their children, and sixth formers can decide for themselves whether or not they want to attend.

An informal poll of primary teachers on Twitter suggests many schools are ignoring the requirement to provide daily collective worship for pupils.

In the wake of Mr Gibb's comments, Year 2 teacher Ian Addison polled other primary teachers on Twitter to find out whether their schools were holding collective worship.

Of the 2,680 teachers who responded, over half (53.4%) said their schools were not providing collective worship.