Are there non-faith schools where RE is actually doing this? I mean do we have evidence for real not just STW supposition? It certainly wasn't like this in our school, and that was 25 years ago.
Remember, RE is distinct from worship.
My primary school (I left in 1988) had a daily act of collective worship, including hymns and prayer, plus a prayer before lunch was eaten. It wasn't a faith school, it was a bog standard primary on the edge of a council estate, with no link to a church.
The guidance on what RE/worship should be carried out in all state schools is fascinating:
Collective worship in schools should aim to provide the opportunity for pupils to worship God ... All registered pupils attending a maintained school should take part in daily collective worship ... , it must in some sense reflect something special or separate from ordinary school activities and it should be concerned with reverence or veneration paid to a divine being or power ... 'Taking part' in collective worship implies more than simply passive attendance
I don't think most parents realise that this is a legal requirement in all schools.