1. Skip to content

National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

Tags: Education

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.

GP Taylor: Why faith has no place in our schools

GP Taylor: Why faith has no place in our schools

Posted: Thu, 08 Jan 2015 17:07 by GP Taylor

Many principled people of faith oppose religious privilege in state schools. Former Anglican priest GP Taylor makes an impassioned case for secularism as a basis for equally inclusive education.

Government’s GCSE subject content review is another missed opportunity

Government’s GCSE subject content review is another missed opportunity

Posted: Tue, 23 Dec 2014 11:10 by Stephen Evans

The Government's proposal to reform the religious studies GCSE subject content falls far short of what's really needed, argues Stephen Evans.

The Christmas nativity: Let it go! Let it go!

The Christmas nativity: Let it go! Let it go!

Posted: Tue, 02 Dec 2014 14:23 by Stephen Evans

After it this week emerged that some school nativity plays are losing their religion, NSS campaigns manager, Stephen Evans, argues that schools should be free to innovate and have a bit of fun with their festive plays without po-faced nativity police telling them they can't.

Parent's perspective: The Collective Worship dilemma

Parent's perspective: The Collective Worship dilemma

Posted: Tue, 18 Nov 2014 12:00 by a parent

One parent speaks out about the damaging impact of excluding her young child from mandatory collective worship in school, and how withdrawal isn't really an option at all.

Transport to faith schools: Local authorities shouldn't be subsidising religious segregation

Transport to faith schools: Local authorities shouldn't be subsidising religious segregation

Posted: Thu, 06 Nov 2014 11:38 by Stephen Evans

A "hideous form of discrimination" or the justifiable removal of a religious privilege? NSS campaigns manager Stephen Evans takes on Conservative MP Nigel Evans over the removal of transport subsidies to faith schools.

Sixth formers: You have the right to withdraw!

Sixth formers: You have the right to withdraw!

Posted: Fri, 26 Sep 2014 10:23 by Stephen Evans

Sixth form pupils can excuse themselves from acts of worship – but it appears some schools aren't so keen on recognising their students' rights to religious freedom.

A contested subject: religious education and faith schools

A contested subject: religious education and faith schools

Posted: Tue, 23 Sep 2014 15:18 by Alastair Lichten

Reports of a Cabinet row over plans to require faith schools to teach more than one religion at GCSE level show that even baby steps towards greater objectivity in religious education will face fierce opposition, argues Alastair Lichten.

A parent’s perspective: a review of the ‘collective worship’ requirement is long overdue

A parent’s perspective: a review of the ‘collective worship’ requirement is long overdue

Posted: Fri, 25 Jul 2014 10:06 by Alison Fenwick

As a parent of a 6 year old daughter, Alison Fenwick argues that the obligation on schools to 'worship' impinges on her parental right to raise her child in accordance with her own beliefs.

Why the time has come to end compulsory worship in schools

Why the time has come to end compulsory worship in schools

Posted: Fri, 11 Jul 2014 11:45 by Stephen Evans

With the launch of a new petition calling on political parties to make the removal of the collective worship requirement part of their education policy, NSS campaigns manager Stephen Evans explains why the time has come to relieve schools of the obligation to provide worship.

It’s not only Islamists who have Trojan Horses

It’s not only Islamists who have Trojan Horses

Posted: Fri, 27 Jun 2014 15:47 by Terry Sanderson

Those with a vested interest in the continuation of 'faith schools' have started their fight back against the growing number of critics, says Terry Sanderson.

A “religious ethos” is not why faith schools succeed – it’s selection that does it

A “religious ethos” is not why faith schools succeed – it’s selection that does it

Posted: Tue, 17 Jun 2014 14:02 by Terry Sanderson

Rather than a faith-based ethos, Terry Sanderson argues that it's selection that allows faith schools to outperform other schools – and calls for fairer admissions policies to ensure a level playing field for all.