Guideline for Evaluating Collective Worship

A Guide to the Law September 1999

130. All community, foundation or voluntary schools must provide for all pupils to attend a daily act of collective worship, which over a term must be broadly Christian in character...

Collective Worship in schools should aim to provide the opportunity for pupils to worship God, to consider spiritual and moral issues and to explore their own beliefs; to encourage participation and response, whether through active involvement in the presentation of worship or through listening to and joining in the worship offered; and to develop community spirit, promote a common ethos and shared values, and reinforce positive attitudes'

DES Circular 1/94 paragraph 50

OFSTED Handbook for Inspection 2000

Evaluation should focus on whether acts of worship

  • Are well planned;
  • Encourage pupils to explore questions about meaning and purpose, values and beliefs;
  • Sharing values of a Christian nature;
  • Opportunities for prayers or meditation;
  • Opportunities to reflect upon readings from holy texts or other writings which bring out religious themes;
  • Opportunities for performance of music, drama and /or dance.

Each act of worship in a school should be considered for its individual qualities. However, before reaching a judgement about the activities observed during the inspection they should be set alongside the evidence of what has occurred, and is planned, over a term. On balance, if it is judged that what the school provides is not in keeping with the spirit of the law, then this should be recorded and explained.

Worship may be judged not to fulfil statutory requirements but could still be observed to make a powerful contribution to pupil's spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. That should be made clear in the report.

In order to meet the requirements of the Law for Section 10 and Section 23 inspections, the school needs to appoint a co-ordinator.

The co-ordinator will be responsible for

  • drawing up a policy and sharing it with all the staff
  • setting up a network of teachers to monitor the delivery of the policy in Whole school Upper/Lower school Year groups Tutor / class groups
  • the advanced production of a scheme or plan for the whole year of themes, topics and a variety of approaches. These should include an overall balance of the liturgical year, interests and concerns.