NATRE, has released an update to its guidance for religious visitors to schools which can be downloaded here.
As an organisation working with schools in the Colchester area we adopt this guidance as a standard for the way we work with the schools we serve. It recognises both the significant benefit that visitors representing faith or belief groups (whether religious or not) can bring to schools as well as the responsibility of these groups to work in an educational and inclusive way. The guidance can be summarised by this question:
If a member of another religion or belief visited my child’s school and contributed in the same way as I have done, would I, as a parent, be happy with the education given?
The guidance covers:
Principles and good practice
Code of Conduct
The three main contexts where visitors might contribute to school life
The basics of communicating effectively with children and young people
Much wonderful RE, and many inspiring acts of collective worship or assemblies, result from the visit of a person willing to share his or her faith or belief. From the point of view of NATRE, schools are encouraged to welcome these visitors whenever possible, and communities of faith and belief are encouraged to contribute to the curriculum and collective worship some of the treasures of their living beliefs.