Humanists UK publishes guide for parents on requesting alternative to collective worship

26 November, 2019

Humanists UK has published a guide for parents including a template letter to schools on how to request a meaningful alternative to collective worship if they have concerns about their children taking part.

After the success of the recent case of Lee and Lizanne Harris who won in their bid to have their school provide a second assembly, Humanists UK has now published advice on how to request a meaningful alternative for parents at other schools.

In the Harris case, the school agreed to provide a second assembly that is of equal educational worth and is designed to ‘further the spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development of pupils regardless of religion or belief’. It will be delivered by a teacher and, unlike collective worship, will ‘not take any particular religion as true’.

Parents who would like to secure a similar meaningful alternative to collective worship at their child’s school can now do so by following this advice.

Humanists UK’s Education Campaigns Manager Dr Ruth Wareham said: ‘We have published guidance so that parents understand their rights and have a straightforward process they can follow when trying to request a meaningful alternative to collective worship in their school. Our template letter makes it easy for parents to request this fairer alternative at their school and we would recommend that all parents inform us of the response they receive so we can help support them through the process.’

Humanists UK recently launched the first model of inclusive assemblies for schools: Assemblies for All.


For further comment or information, please contact the Education Campaigns Manager Robert Cann at or phone 0207 324 3000.

Read the news item on the Harris case outcome.

Read more about Humanist UK’s work on collective worship.

Read more about collective worship and parents’ rights.

Humanists UK is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people. Powered by over 85,000 members and supporters, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. We provide ceremonies, pastoral care, education, and support services benefitting over a million people every year and our campaigns advance humanist thinking on ethical issues, human rights, and equal treatment for all.