PARENTS will take their children's primary school to the High Court to protest the 'preaching' of Christianity. 

Lee and Lizanne Harris withdrew their two children from assemblies at Burford Primary School, in West Oxfordshire, after criticising religious 'indoctrination'. 

They say God and Christianity were presented to pupils as ‘fact’ and assemblies involved watching Bible stories including the crucifixion. 

The pair have now won permission to bring a judicial review against Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust, which runs the 111-pupil academy, later this year.

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The trust, however, said the school acted 'entirely appropriately' and was only following statute, which makes daily collective worship compulsory in state-funded schools.

In a joint statement, Mr and Mrs Harris said: "Over time we noticed harmful aspects of evangelism spreading into assembly and other parts of the school, which goes against our children’s rights to receive an education free from religious interference.

"They shouldn’t have to participate in Christian prayers, or watch biblical scenes such as the crucifixion being acted out, nor should they have to hear from evangelical preachers who spout harmful and often divisive messages.

"We take this step very reluctantly but feel strongly that we need to try to make our children’s education as inclusive as possible."

The school has no religious character and was a community school when the children joined, but in 2015 it converted to an academy and joined the Church of England’s Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust.

When Mr and Mrs Harris withdrew their children from assemblies, they said they were left to 'play with an iPad' with a supervisor.

They also said St John the Baptist church regularly hosts worship during assemblies.

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In their submission to court, the parents express concerns including about the school leavers’ ceremony being held in a church, at which pupils receive a Bible as a gift.

Their case is due to be heard on November 29 this year.

According to Humanists UK, which is supporting the couple, it is the first case on school worship to reach the High Court. 

Anne Davey chief executive of Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust, said: "Daily collective worship is a statutory requirement in all publicly-funded schools in England and Wales.

"It is in particular required of academies by the terms of their funding agreement with the Secretary of State for Education, and the law also provides that for a school like Burford, the worship must be wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character.

"ODST is confident that Burford Primary School has acted entirely appropriately, and has followed statute in ways that are similar to all local or indeed national schools.

"It has provided exactly what the law requires, which includes provision for children to be withdrawn if parents so request."