1. Religious Education:
- ECHR, Art. 2: duty to respect right to religious education.
- State law: Education Act 1996; School Standards and Framework Act 1998
- Syllabus must reflect fact that religious traditions of Great Britain is mainly Christian.
- Syllabus must take into account teaching and practices of other principal religions.
- Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE): is appointed by Local Education Authority (LEA) and is composed of C of E and other representatives.
- Parental right to access information concerning RE.
- Parental right to withdraw children and send elsewhere.
2. Religious Worship:
- There must be a daily act of collective worship in State Schools.
- Act of worship must be wholly or mainly Christian in nature.
- SACRE monitors provision of worship; it may even disapply this requirement to a particular student if appropriate.
- Schemes for worship challengeable in courts for lack of Christian content.
(R and D (1992 unreported): two mothers complained that religious education was inadequately provided in their sons primary school. Judge refused to consider aspect of case on the basis that the children already moved schools).
- Each pupil must take part in the daily act of worship but parents may withdraw.
3. Religion and Discipline:
- School uniform policy vs religious garb.
Begum v Denbigh HS, Luton  CA:
B a 15 yr old Muslim girl who sought to wear Muslim shalwar kameeze (long tunic and baggy trousers). School decided that B could not enter the school unless she wore the prescribed school uniform; but she could not agree due to her religious beliefs. School refused her entry.
She claimed this violated her ECHR Art 9 right to manifest her religion practice and observance. She sought mandatory order to admit damages.
The case ultimately reaches the HL who conclude that there was no interference with B's Art. 9 right to manifest religion b/c:
(a) B voluntarily chose that school.
(b) There was no difficulty for B to attend another school.
(c) There were other schools in the area were happy with jilbab.
(d) The school went to "unusual lengths" to make its uniform policy.
(e) Nicholls dissenting: Was not sure whether there was interference with B's Art. 9 right.
(g) Hoffmann: schools do not have to have Human Rights textbooks at their elbow.
And even if there had been interference with B's Art. 9(1) right, it was justifiable under Art. 9.2 b/c:
(a) It was prescribed by law for the school to have authority to institute a uniform policy.
(b) It was necessary in a democratic society.
(c) B was not denied a right to education as there were other schools available.
(d) The right to education is not a right to attend a particular school.
- Corporal Punishment + religious conviction.
R v SSE, ex p Williamson  HL:
Case involved Christian schools which sought to administer corporal correction on religious grounds.
HL held this was unlawful. The SSFA 1998 amending EA 1996 s.548) provide that corporal punishment cannot be justified.
The school argued decision was breach of Art. 9 ECHR or Art. 2(1). Held: Manifesting religious belied by the use of corporal punishment was not in the best interests of the child.
- Teachers and religious observance.
Ahmad v Inner London EA :
A is a Muslim employed as a primary schoolteacher under a contract which required full-time service. Never mentioned to employer he has to attend prayers in Mosque every Friday then return to work. He refused an offer of employment on a four and half day basis and left his employment subsequently claiming unfair dismissal on the basis that his employer's refusal to allow him to be absent for 45 min every Friday.
Tribunal dismissed claim. A appealed to CA which also dismissed his claim. He finally appealed to European Commission which again dismissed his appeal claiming it was manifestly ill-founded on the basis that the education authority gave consideration to A's religious freedom by offering part-time post and thus the contract must be fulfilled.
4. Religious Schools (usually voluntary-aided):
- 22,000 state maintained schools in England; 7,000 have a religious charcter.
- RE in religious schools may be in accordance with LEA syllabus or tenets religion.
- Schools designated as religious schools; must satisfy legal criteria.
- Religious schools may employ religious criteria for admission.