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Collective Worship

This page explains the policy for Collective Worship at Burnside Secondary School PRU and how we interpret the legislation set out by the Government.

The legal Requirements for Collective Worship 

The 1988 Education Act stated that:

  • All students must take part in a Collective Act of Worship every day.
  • The act of Collective Worship may be as a whole school or in different age grouping.
  • It may happen at any time of the school day.
  • It has to take place on school premises.
  • The headteacher is responsible for ensuring the legal requirements for Collective Worship are met.
  • All staff, including the headteacher has the legal right to withdraw from the Act of Collective Worship.
  • The headteacher remains responsible for finding someone suitable to organise and lead the acts of Worship.
  • All parents have the right to withdraw their children from Collective Worship, wholly or partially.

The DFEE circular1/94 adds to the legal requirements of the Education Act The booklet ‘Towards Realism and Consensus’ seeks to put legal requirements into perspective and enable all schools to fulfil the law in a way that is suitable for all students and in a way that adds to their overall development.

The Aims of Collective Worship at Burnside Secondary School PRU

All schools are required to provide an act of collective worship.  At Burnside Secondary School PRU we:

Acknowledge that our school community is not a ‘worshipping community’ in the same sense as a local church.  However, we help students understand some of the features of worship. 

These are:

  • Praise                                  Reflection                         Celebration  
  • Thanks                                 Saying Sorry                     Sharing

We have chosen these elements because we believe they are also important features of our everyday life in school and are therefore appropriate responses for all students and staff in our community.

The law also requires us to provide students with an opportunity to worship God as part of our Collective Worship.  We therefore try to provide an opportunity to respond in the form of a time of quiet reflection at some point in each act of Collective Worship. This time may involve spoken prayers but more often a time for each student and adult present to be quiet and think about what they have heard; this will provide opportunity for each  to worship God if they should wish to do so.

The Approach of Collective Worship at Burnside Secondary School PRU

The acts of Collective Worship are planned to give students a variety of experiences to enable them to reflect on, and respond to, things which we, as a school community, believe are important.

These experiences will include:

  • The telling of appropriate stories (Biblical, moral, multi-cultural)
  • Drama
  • Dance
  • Poetry
  • Music
  • Mime
  • TV/Video/Radio programs

The organization of Collective Worship at Burnside Secondary PRU

There is an assembly at the end of every week . The acts of worship follow themes designed by staff which supports the aims of the school. Themes are often displayed on the display boards around school as they form a part of our cross curriculum approach to learning

Resources for Collective Worship

A wide range of resources are used such as newspaper articles and information about religious festivals.


Parents may ask for their child to be totally or partially withdrawn from Collective Worship in accordance with the Education Act.  They are advised of this right in the School brochure and asked to contact the headteacher to make arrangements.  No reason has to be given but discussion with parents over issues concerning withdrawal are recommended in Circular 1/94.  Staff also have the right to withdraw.  No students or staff currently withdraws