STAFFORDSHIRE COUNCIL is attempting to block parents rights to stop visits to mosques after it emerged some parents are using their rights to refuse to allow their children to visit places of worship.
Under current procedures, Parents are well within their right to withdraw their children from visits to places of worship. Some cite costs, while others are concerned about safety or a ‘political agenda’.
Politicalite has learnt that Conservative lead Staffordshire Council in the West Midlands will now issue warnings to parents who refuse to allow their children to visit places of worship.
Staffordshire’s Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE) – has produced a document to help schools deal with parents who refuse to allow their children to visit mosques.
It includes a template letter to parents, outlining the value of helping pupils understand different cultures and faiths.
SACRE said requests to withdraw children from these activities was ‘a serious matter’.
The document states: “While objections are raised about visits to a number of places of worship, they are most frequently about visits to mosques, which raises the bigger issue of Islamaphobia and how this can be addressed.”
The document adds: “Visits to sacred spaces bring the agreed syllabus to life and underpin the role of RE in helping to prepare and equip pupils for life and citizenship in today’s diverse and plural Britain.”
The advice includes tips on how to prepare schoolchildren for an RE trip so they ‘will be comfortable with any differences they see’.
They also plan to have representatives from Mosques come into schools and offer a virtual tour of a place of worship and having discussions in class prior to visits – meaning Parents will be unable to fully object, as the tour is on School premises.