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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

Tags: Education

Governor’s perspective: beware an increasingly assertive religious ethos in ‘Church schools’

Governor’s perspective: beware an increasingly assertive religious ethos in ‘Church schools’

Posted: Tue, 16 Aug 2016 11:35

The NSS is regularly contacted by governors and staff at Church of England schools who are pressured to promote a more rigorous 'Christian ethos'. Here's one governor's account of increasing religiosity at their local school.

What do pupils need to know about religion?

What do pupils need to know about religion?

Posted: Tue, 02 Aug 2016 10:06 by Stephen Evans

In recent years faith communities have amplified their demands for a better understanding of religion in the private and public sector. But what do pupils need to know about religion by the time they leave school?

When is a community school not a community school?

When is a community school not a community school?

Posted: Wed, 06 Jul 2016 10:44 by Alastair Lichten

Religious organisations are pushing for an increased role in non-religious community schools. This seriously risks blurring the line between faith and community schools, writes Alastair Lichten.

Faith schools add to the angst of school offer day

Faith schools add to the angst of school offer day

Posted: Mon, 18 Apr 2016 11:25 by Stephen Evans

National Offer Day is when many parents fall victim to religious discrimination or discover they've been allocated a religious school against their wishes. Stephen Evans argues that a move towards a secular education system might make school offer day a little less fraught.

The surprising origin of Collective Worship in schools

The surprising origin of Collective Worship in schools

Posted: Thu, 10 Mar 2016 15:32 by Ed Moore

Collective worship has its history in a murky compromise between politicians and the church dating back to the Second World War – and it is long since time the arcane requirement was removed, writes Ed Moore.

Classrooms should be free from an overbearing religious ethos

Classrooms should be free from an overbearing religious ethos

Posted: Mon, 15 Feb 2016 12:43 by Stephen Evans

With the Church seeking to extend its influence over the management of schools, Stephen Evans argues that religious groups' demands shouldn't outweigh parental rights and children's independent interests.

The niqab in schools: An argument for prohibition

The niqab in schools: An argument for prohibition

Posted: Thu, 04 Feb 2016 11:42 by Sadikur Rahman

Sadikur Rahman argues that the case for banning full face veils in schools extends far beyond whether or not they present a barrier to learning.

Religious education reform: mistakes of the past must be avoided

Religious education reform: mistakes of the past must be avoided

Posted: Fri, 04 Dec 2015 09:28 by Alastair Lichten

Despite many RE teachers doing their best under difficult circumstances, a growing consensus now recognises that religious education in schools needs a rethink. Alastair Lichten looks at the latest report calling for reform.

God “is the man who saves people” – a parent discovers what Religious Observance in school has taught their child

God “is the man who saves people” – a parent discovers what Religious Observance in school has taught their child

Posted: Wed, 14 Oct 2015 11:51

A parent writes of their shock at discovering Religious Observance in the non-denominational Scottish school attended by their daughter, and gives their perspective on the problems caused by archaic Religious Observance rules in Scottish schools.

A parent’s perspective: collective worship and evangelism in schools

A parent’s perspective: collective worship and evangelism in schools

Posted: Thu, 17 Sep 2015 11:28

Even where parents have the option of a community school, securing a secular education can be difficult. One parent offers their perspective on negotiating appropriate boundaries which respect children's rights to form their own beliefs.

Let Ofsted inspect religious education in faith schools

Let Ofsted inspect religious education in faith schools

Posted: Wed, 09 Sep 2015 11:19 by Stephen Evans

Religious education should receive the same scrutiny as any other area of the curriculum – and be inspected by Ofsted, argues Stephen Evans.

Students forced to lead prayers and made to attend Mass – the reality of faith schools for non-religious pupils

Students forced to lead prayers and made to attend Mass – the reality of faith schools for non-religious pupils

Posted: Thu, 03 Sep 2015 09:59

A Sixth Former gives a student's account of what it's like to attend a faith school if you aren't religious, and shows the reality of some faith schools for pupils who don't share the school's enthusiasm for religion.

Christians shouldn’t put self-interest above Britain’s need to better integrate

Christians shouldn’t put self-interest above Britain’s need to better integrate

Posted: Fri, 31 Jul 2015 11:09 by Stephen Evans

The long history of Christian involvement in state education shouldn't stand in the way of a more integrated education system, argues Stephen Evans.

Why have I never taught a Jewish child?

Why have I never taught a Jewish child?

Posted: Tue, 14 Jul 2015 13:59 by Dennis O’Sullivan

Is this the way to unite society – with faith schools teaching the supremacy of their ideology and how wrong the rest of us are, asks Dennis O'Sullivan, a headteacher with thirty-five years of experience in education.

When is a faith school not a faith school?

When is a faith school not a faith school?

Posted: Wed, 08 Jul 2015 13:46 by Alastair Lichten

Academisation and the 'grey area' between faith and non-religious schools may allow even more schools to assume a religious character by stealth. To avoid this, we need a much clearer definition of 'faith school', argues Alastair Lichten.

Academics call for greater sensitivity about religion in universities, but students suggest it’s not an issue

Academics call for greater sensitivity about religion in universities, but students suggest it’s not an issue

Posted: Fri, 19 Jun 2015 15:03 by National Secular Society

Some academics are giving undue prominence to religion and religious students- when the evidence shows they are exaggerating the scale of the 'problem' they describe.

Faith schools: education’s sacred cow

Faith schools: education’s sacred cow

Posted: Fri, 19 Jun 2015 08:42 by Stephen Evans

Faith-based schools have been part of Britain's educational landscape for a long time. But as Britain's religious outlook changes, the time has come for some people to come to terms with their fear or unwillingness to question them, argues Stephen Evans.

Academic claims university atheists are “militant”

Academic claims university atheists are “militant”

Posted: Thu, 18 Jun 2015 13:30 by Benjamin Jones

A paper published by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education has claimed that atheists can be "militant" on university campuses, while describing religion as a "public good" and the exclusion of religion from the public sphere as "repressive."

The ‘Islamophobia’ delusion

The ‘Islamophobia’ delusion

Posted: Thu, 11 Jun 2015 13:13 by Benjamin Jones

Islamists are again using the victims of anti-Muslim bigotry to advance their agenda. Once again, a British university has aided this project in a conference on 'Islamophobia' which undermined and demonised ex-Muslims as "McCarthyites".

Don’t ban women drivers – ban faith schools

Don’t ban women drivers – ban faith schools

Posted: Sat, 30 May 2015 10:18 by Oliver Kamm

In a pluralist and diverse society, it's an invitation to ignorance for children to be segregated by their parent's religious affiliation – so why, asks Oliver Kamm, is the state entrusting the education of huge numbers of children to religious bodies?

A very confused and immoderate Moderator

A very confused and immoderate Moderator

Posted: Wed, 20 May 2015 15:15 by Alistair McBay

Alistair McBay examines the confused and immoderate arguments of the new Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland.

It should be politically impossible for universities to enforce blasphemy laws

It should be politically impossible for universities to enforce blasphemy laws

Posted: Thu, 30 Apr 2015 15:23 by Benjamin Jones

It should be politically toxic, publicly excruciating, there should be protests, and mass disruption to campuses when universities censor blasphemy. Where is the outrage?

Allowing children to languish in illegal religious 'schools' is the bigotry of low expectations

Allowing children to languish in illegal religious 'schools' is the bigotry of low expectations

Posted: Wed, 22 Apr 2015 15:26 by Stephen Evans

NSS campaigns manager Stephen Evans warns that growing numbers of unregulated religious 'schools' are badly letting children down, and argues that the rights of children to education should be prioritised.

Let’s stop confusing education with religious inculcation

Let’s stop confusing education with religious inculcation

Posted: Fri, 03 Apr 2015 10:02 by Stephen Evans

The blurring of the distinction between education and religious inculcation is getting in the way of young people receiving good quality objective education about religion and belief, argues Stephen Evans.

The Church, gratitude and the erosion of innocence

The Church, gratitude and the erosion of innocence

Posted: Wed, 11 Mar 2015 11:13 by Conor

A parent writes about the problem of innocuous children's activities run with a hidden religious agenda, and defends his right to raise his children how he wishes, without organisations using playgroups as a cover for proselytising to children.