Reform is nigh

4th February 2000 at 00:00
PRIMARY heads often face two daunting challenges before 9.30am: (a) finding a supply teacher to replace a sick member of staff; and (b) conveying a sense of "awe and wonder" at morning assembly. Sometimes - to make it really difficult - they must achieve (b) in the presence of half-a-dozen clipboard-toting inspectors.

The Church of England web pages that offer model scripts for morning assembly do not suggest a text for OFSTED's doubting Thomases ("Judge not, and ye shall not be judged", Luke 6:37, seems appropriate). But the ready-made assemblies are likely to prove usefl to primaries nevertheless.

Whether secondary schools will make much use of the new Internet service is open to question, however. About 70 per cent of them ignore the requirement to hold a daily act of collective worship. And even when they do comply, the assemblies are often perfunctory: a Bible passage one morning, a five-minute morality tale the next, and no hymns or prayers after Year 9.

Reform of the law on school worship may not be on the Government's agenda at present. But in an increasingly

secular society it cannot be resisted indefinitely.

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