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New poll finds Brits oppose religious influence in education

by Tola Mbakwe

The survey, which was commissioned by the National Secular Society (NSS), found that fewer than one in six British adults agree with religious selection in state schools generally. Fewer than one in three support it when they are specifically asked about faith schools.

Half of respondents said school assemblies should be about moral issues, whereas just over a quarter agree that they should feature religious worship.

NSS said that the findings suggest education policy across Britain is out of step with the views of the public.

However Rev Ronnie Lamont, a faith and nurture advisor for the Church of England in the Diocese of Canterbury, who also works in schools, disagreed.

She told Premier's News Hour that if the adults who took part in the survey attended an assembly today, they would have a different view.

"We tend to think of assemblies as what we sat through and the actual world of school assemblies has transformed over the last 30 years, certainly in church schools," she said.

"Children not only lead the worship, they plan the worship and then evaluate it. You are then in a position where children are asked 'what do you want to do within this time'."

Rev Lamont added that the Church has played an important role in education over the years, and she's certain the legacy will continue.

"Church schools will not go away and I don't think people will be negative about the benefit of the church school because I think they're recognised as serving the communities well," she said.

Listen to Rev Ronnie Lamont speaking with Premier's Tola Mbakwe here:

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