Cultural and religious matters in schools

All York primary and secondary schools are for both boys and girls. Some private or independent schools, where you pay fees, are single sex schools.

Collective Worship  “assembly”

Assembly is for all pupils of every faith in the school and is an important time when the whole school gets together. Most assemblies are broadly Christian but they are also used to celebrate the major events in the calendar of other faiths, such as Eid or Divali. If you do not want you child to take part in assembly, you should talk to your child’s school.


These lessons help children to learn about different religions, and do not promote any particular religion. However, you can choose to  withdraw your child from RE lessons.


Many religions encourage a time of fasting. If your child wants to fast, you should talk to your child’s school so that the staff understand your child’s needs. Their needs can be met with sensitivity during this time. 

Prayer times

You will not be allowed to take your child out of school regularly to attend prayers in a place of worship. The school may have a quiet room available so that pupils can pray at school during the day.

Religious festivals

Parents can take their child out of school for 2 days a year to observe religious festivals. Schools recognise that religious festivals are very important for many cultures and religions. Schools also celebrate many festivals from different religions.