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Religion has always been a feature of schooling in England. The Education Act of 1944 made the study of Religion the only compulsory subject in school and it was to be accompanied by a “daily act of worshipÂ” for all pupils. Back then religion was largely synonymous with Christianity. But a recent survey from the National Association of Teachers of Religious Education shows there appears to be aÂ growing problemÂ with parents taking their children out of school RE lessons. The findings show that parents are withdrawing children from lessons on Islam, or visits to the Mosque, calling into question their preparation for life in modern Britain. RecentlyÂ published researchÂ suggests that Â“withdrawalÂ” has been requested in almost three quarters of schools. More than 10% of those withdrawing are open about the fact that they are doing so for racist or Islamophobic reasons. In 2017, the RE Council set up an independent commission to review RE. ThisÂ Commission on REÂ has heard much anecdotal evidence of Islamophobically-inspired withdrawal. Teachers up and down the country have stories of parents not wishing their children to learn about Â“that terrorist religionÂ”. This conflicts with the duty of schools to promote Â“British ValuesÂ” of tolerance and respect and to challenge extremism. Recently, the teaching union, the Association of Teachers and Lecturer, passed a motion condemning Â“racistÂ” parents who pull their children out of RE lessons. The union has urged the government to putÂ a stop to it. The law on withdrawal Parents are able to pull their children out of RE lessons by drawing on theÂ 1996 Education Act, which states that a parent can request that for their child to be wholly or partly excused from religious education and religious worship in the school. A voluntary Â“conscience clauseÂ” existed in some church schools since the 1820s and became part of the 1870 and 1944 education acts. Put simply, if the only school in the village was a Roman Catholic school, and Anglican and nonconformist parents did not want their children indoctrinated into Catholicism (and vice-versa) they could be excused from the religious instruction offered there. They could then provide their own denominationally suitable religious instruction either at school or elsewhere. Some parents didnÂ’t want their children to visit a mosque.Â Shutterstock For decades this clause appeared to cause few problems. IndeedÂ research I carried outÂ suggests that there was little to be worried about. In a handful of schools, occasional families with a particular background Â– often JehovahÂ’s Witnesses Â– would not take part in assemblies or RE lessons and would instead, work quietly on their own materials. But it seems now, times are changing. Read more:Â
"Every man must be swift about hearing, slow about speaking, slow about wrath.” (James 1:19) Generally, children love their parents, and parents love their children. This is especially true among God’s people. Some families agree to spend less time watching television or using the computer. Others decide to eat at least one meal together each day. Family worship is a wonderful opportunity for parents and children to get to know one another better as they study the Bible together. The Bible says: “A person’s thoughts are like water in a deep well, but someone with insight can draw them out.” (Proverbs 20:5, Today’s English Version) When anyone is replying to a matter before he hears it, that is foolishness on his part and a humiliation.” (Proverbs 18:13) If you stay calm and listen, you may be able to understand the reason for your child’s “wild talk.” (Job 6:1-3) You can help your child only if you understand the whole situation. As loving parents, listen to your children and try to understand them so that you can say something that really helps them. 4 No greater joy do I have than this: that I should hear that my children go on walking in the truth." (3 John 4) We will make mistakes. So be quick to say “I’m sorry.” Forgive freely. “Be harmoniously joined together in love.” (Colossians 2:2) Love has power. It helps us to be patient and kind. Love helps us to stay calm and to forgive. “It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) If you keep showing love, communication in your family will get better and better. This will make you happy and will honor Jehovah.