Another good article from the NSS on the pointlessness and possibly damaging nature of religious schooling and RE.
It mentions something in relation to the rights of parents vs the religious requirements of schools:
Yes, parents can exclude their children from such lessons, but as we have seen at the NSS, few would actually do it. Even the most passionate secularists are unwilling to make their children into the odd ones out in class.
When my children first started Primary school I considered withdrawing them from compulsory prayers (but not RE) but did not do so. Partly because of the reasons the NSS suggests (it is probably bad enough being a 4 year old in a big school without being marked out as different from everyone else) but partly because I soon learnt about the local Secondary situation and thought that this might play against my chances of getting them into the school of my choice.
As far as I know, no-one at my children’s primary has been withdrawn from prayers: I think some children whose parents are Jehovah’s Witnesses have withdrawn their kids from RE (but not prayers) as they do not want them to learn about other faiths….
Here’s a thought: what if when, and if, both my children are at the faith Secondary school I withdraw them from RE and/or prayers? I believe the law would be on my side. How would the school react?
(I think it unlikely, however, that I would do such a thing for some of the reasons already stated. Unless – and this is important – either of my children asked me to.)