McCann calls for religion to be taken out of school day

Eamonn McCann with Scott Moore of the Campaign to End Compulsory Religious Worship.
Eamonn McCann with Scott Moore of the Campaign to End Compulsory Religious Worship.

Foyle MLA Eamonn McCann has called for religion to be taken outside the normal school syllabus.

People Before Profit representative Mr McCann has met with Scott Moore of the Campaign to End Compulsory Religious Worship in Northern Ireland’s Schools, and endorsed the campaign on behalf of his party.

Scott Moore made a presentation on Derry & Strabane Council several months ago on the same issue.

Mr McCann said: “People Before Profit supports separation of Church and State.

“Of course, religious groups have the right to religious education, but this should be outside compulsory school hours.

“As long as schools continue to provide religious education during school hours, young people should be able to decide for themselves whether or not they attend such classes.”

Mr McCann said that as a socialist, he believed in equality, including of religious views, with none being privileged or marginalised under the law.

“Too many people are unaware of the practice of compulsory collective worship in our schools, how schools have no choice in holding worship, and how pupils - even over 16s - have no right to withdraw without parental permission,” Mr McCann said.

“Over 16s and post-GCSE students must be freed from attending religious services against their will.”