SCOTTISH schools are failing in their obligations to make all parents aware of a right to withdraw their children from religious lessons, according to a new study.

Fewer than four in 10 parents surveyed by YouGov on behalf of the Humanist Society of Scotland said they were aware of the opportunity.

As The Herald reported last month, the society also believes a similar requirement for schools to offer a meaningful alternative to RE is not being delivered.

The issue was highlighted in advance of Scotland's first conference on the issue, Affording Parity of Esteem, which takes place later this month in Edinburgh.

Since 2005, Scottish schools have been required to make parents aware they can remove their children from religious education and observance.

However, the YouGov study found 39% of the 1000 parents surveyed were not aware of the right to withdraw children from religions observance and religious and moral education classes. Only 20% said they had been made aware of the right by their school.

Clare Marsh, education officer for the Humanist Society Scotland, said: "We should be educating our children in the full spectrum of religious, philosophical and moral views."