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High Court grants parents permission to challenge school worship law.

High Court grants parents permission to challenge school worship law.

The case of Lee and Lizanne Harris v Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust will be heard on 29 November 2019 and is the first case on school worship to reach the High Court. It hopes to establish that schools must provide a meaningful alternative to collective worship of ‘equal educational worth’ that instead focuses on advancing the spiritual, moral, cultural, and social development of all pupils regardless of religion or belief. They are being represented by law firm Deighton Pierce Glynn.

In their submission to court, the parents also express concerns about Christian indoctrination spreading into other aspects of the school including the school leavers’ ceremony which is held in a church and at which all leaving students receive a bible as a gift and ‘guide to life.’

The Harrises will argue that Christian worship at the school extends far beyond what the law requires and constitutes indoctrination, a practice that violates the rights to freedom of belief of parents and pupils as outlined in the Human Rights Act 1998. They will also argue that the school is in breach of that Act in failing to provide a meaningful alternative.

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