According to an article in The Observer a headteacher from a Tyneside state school, Dr Paul Kelley, has tried to challenge the idea that pupils should perform a Christian act of worship every day. As a result his school loses points on educational inspections.
Bizarrely, in the UK state schools have a legal requirement for pupils to take part in a daily collective act of worship of a broadly Christian nature (apparently there are exceptions for non-Christian faith schools where the relevant religious act can be substituted). Parents are allowed to request that their children be withdrawn from this (I don't believe that children can themselves opt out).
This is very different from the quite reasonable requirement that pupils should learn about other religions (and, we hope, about those who have no religion at all) as part of the curriculum.
Given that large numbers of children don't have religious beliefs, and certainly don't have Christian beliefs, what this means in practice is that all over the UK thousands of children are encouraged to engage in insincere religious utterances on a daily basis. This has very dubious educational and moral value.
Back in the Seventeenth Century John Locke in his A Letter Concerning Toleration (1689) had already spotted that religious coercion is counterproductive:
"It is in vain for an unbeliever to take up the outward show of another man's profession. Faith only, and inward sincerity, are the things that procure acceptance with God...In vain, therefore, do princes compel their subjects to come into their church communion, under pretence of saving their souls. If they believe, they will come of their own accord; if they believe not, their coming will not avail them."
"A sweet religion, indeed, that obliges men to dissemble, and tell lies to both God and man, for the salvation of their souls!"
That argument should still hold some force with the sincerely religious. But for many of us who are firmly secular in outlook it is disturbing that in the UK this sort of superstitious practice carried out in a state educational context is opt-out rather than opt-in.