Last week, I blogged about secular education and the current compromise which requires that teaching in state primary schools "shall be entirely of a secular character", but allows schools to temporarily close so that those who want to can participate in religious education and observances. One of the problems with this is that due to a historical anomaly it applies only to primary and intermediate schools. As for what goes on in secondary schools, check out Asher’s experience. The high school he attended (Wellington
High School College) forced students to participate in Christian prayers at assemblies, sing Christian hymns, and of course had a preacher round once or twice a year to tell them about Jesus and give them Bibles. Which is a bit problematic if you're a Jewish atheist (or indeed, anything other than a particularly noxious sort of Christian).
There is no question that this arrangement contravenes the Bill of Rights Act's affirmation of freedom of religion, in that students are being forced to participate with apparently no opt-out. This is simply not something that should be happening in our school system. If the new guidelines don't apply to secondary schools and force them to adopt a primary-school style scheme in order to comply with the BORA, then I think there's a very good case for legislation - either to extend the provisions of s77-80 of the Education Act 1964 to all state schools (and repeal s81), or to enact parallel provisions in the Education Act 1989.
Correction: Corrected name of the high school. This is what happens if I post at 2:30am...