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Kirk wants free assemblies

SCHOOLS should not have to dragoon students into assemblies to comply with the law, the Church of Scotland says in its response to the consultation on religious observance. Instead, assemblies should be "more open, inclusive and invitational" and aim for quality rather than frequency.

The Church would be quite happy to see five or six "well planned and presented" assemblies for each year group in secondaries. Primaries, being smaller, could have more.

The Church accepts observance has been a long-standing problem for headteachers and chaplains but contends that assemblies would give pupils a framework to reflect on "questions of life, death and God" once the parameters had been agreed with pupils, parents, staff and churches.

Its stance is markedly different from the Roman Catholic Church which insists Christianity should remain at the heart of observance.

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