Cliffedale Primary School

Be the best that you can be

Collective Worship

FAQs about Collective Worship


The Education Act of 1996 provides statutory guidance about collective worship and sections from the act have been used to answer frequently asked questions which we hope you find helpful.


What are the requirements to provide collective worship?

Under the Education Act 1996, all maintained schools, except maintained special schools, must provide daily collective worship for all registered pupils.


This provision applies to all pupils registered at a maintained school who are of statutory school age.


At Cliffedale, all children are able to be involved.


What constitutes collective worship?


The DfE published non-statutory guidance on collective worship in 1994. This guidance remains current.

The guidance explains in paragraph 60 that collective worship in schools without a designated religious character will be "wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian nature". Paragraph 61 adds that collective worship should not be distinctive of any particular Christian denomination.


Elements of collective worship could include:


  • Developing a sense of awe and wonder about the world

  • Affirming positive values, such as honesty or self-sacrifice

  • Encouraging responsibility for making personal decisions

  • Celebrating achievement and special occasions


At Cliffedale, we aim to come to together to learn new and interesting facts, to strengthen our values, to be inspired and to celebrate successes and special occasions.


Where can collective worship take place?


Paragraphs 55-56 of the DfE's guidance on collective worship say that, as a rule, acts of collective worship should take place on the school premises. It also explains that there can be separate acts of worship for pupils in different age groups or school groups.

It is not always possible for the whole school to gather in one place, although it is desirable to try to do this at least once a week. Collective worship can take place within the classroom.

At Cliffedale, we usually use our main hall and classrooms. We come together as a whole school twice a week, in key stages twice a week and in classes once a week.


Can parents withdraw their children from collective worship?


Parents can request that their child be totally or partially withdrawn from collective worship.


Sixth-formers can decide for themselves whether or not to attend, without giving a reason for doing so.


Can schools remove pupils from collective worship?


A representative from the DfE advises that said that a school can remove pupils from collective worship to attend one-to-one or group tuition sessions. This is a matter for the school to decide.  At Cliffedale, children sometimes attend small group or individual tuition during collective worship.