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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

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Reading Council proposes end to faith school travel subsidy

Reading Council proposes end to faith school travel subsidy

Posted: Mon, 20 Jun 2016 14:39

Reading Borough Council has opened a consultation on a proposal to end taxpayer funding for parents who opt to send their children to faith schools even though a nearer school is available.

Church ‘using academisation to increase religious influence in schools’

Church ‘using academisation to increase religious influence in schools’

Posted: Fri, 17 Jun 2016 11:20

The NSS has written to the Department for Education over concerns that the Church of England is using academisation to strengthen its influence in schools – over the objections of school governors.

Open letter to Education Secretary: Government must respect children’s rights and abolish collective worship requirement

Open letter to Education Secretary: Government must respect children’s rights and abolish collective worship requirement

Posted: Fri, 17 Jun 2016 10:49

Thirty campaigners, including academics, MPs, peers and educators, have called on the Government to abolish the law requiring Christian worship in English schools, following criticism of the practice from the UN.

Inclusive schools needed to tackle radicalisation, says European Commission

Inclusive schools needed to tackle radicalisation, says European Commission

Posted: Thu, 16 Jun 2016 10:54

The European Commission has called for inclusive education to help tackle radicalisation across the continent.

Help celebrate our 150th anniversary and support our appeal!

Help celebrate our 150th anniversary and support our appeal!

Posted: Wed, 15 Jun 2016 10:25

The National Secular Society has launched a new anniversary appeal to help commemorate NSS founder Charles Bradlaugh, celebrate the Society's 150th anniversary and support its campaign work.

Scottish Anglicans move towards religious same-sex marriage

Scottish Anglicans move towards religious same-sex marriage

Posted: Wed, 15 Jun 2016 10:05

The Scottish Episcopal Church has paved the way towards allowing gay marriage, raising the prospect of a clash with the Church of England.

UN children’s rights Committee calls on UK to abolish compulsory worship in schools

UN children’s rights Committee calls on UK to abolish compulsory worship in schools

Posted: Fri, 10 Jun 2016 07:29

A UN committee has urged the UK to repeal laws requiring the provision of 'broadly Christian' worship in UK schools. It also called for pupils to be given the independent right of withdrawal from any religious worship held in schools.

1200 cases of FGM reported in three months – but data “likely” to underestimate

1200 cases of FGM reported in three months – but data “likely” to underestimate

Posted: Thu, 09 Jun 2016 12:13

New data has shown a surge in reported cases of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in England, with over 1200 reports made in the first three months of 2016.

Sex abuse victims doubt Pope’s decree on negligent bishops

Sex abuse victims doubt Pope’s decree on negligent bishops

Posted: Tue, 07 Jun 2016 12:39

A new decree issued by Pope Francis under which bishops can be removed from office over negligence involving abuse of minors or vulnerable adults has been greeted with cynicism by the NSS and a victim support group.

Ex-Muslim campaigner Aliyah Saleem to speak at ‘Living better together’ conference

Ex-Muslim campaigner Aliyah Saleem to speak at ‘Living better together’ conference

Posted: Mon, 06 Jun 2016 16:18

Aliyah Saleem, a former pupil of an ultra-conservative Islamic boarding school in the UK, is to speak about her experiences at the National Secular Society's 150th anniversary conference.

Fifty organisations call on Greece to abolish blasphemy laws

Fifty organisations call on Greece to abolish blasphemy laws

Posted: Mon, 06 Jun 2016 11:27

The National Secular Society has joined dozens of secularist, humanist and free speech groups in calling on the Greek government to expedite the removal of blasphemy articles from the country's criminal code.

NSS criticises council proposal to expand faith school provision

NSS criticises council proposal to expand faith school provision

Posted: Fri, 03 Jun 2016 09:16

The National Secular Society has called on Milton Keynes Council to rethink plans to meet increasing demand for school places by significantly expanding faith school provision.

European Commission announces online crackdown on “hate speech”

European Commission announces online crackdown on “hate speech”

Posted: Thu, 02 Jun 2016 15:45

Tech companies including Facebook and Twitter have signed up to a new European Commission plan designed to clampdown on online "hate speech."

Headscarves and other religious, philosophical and political symbols can be banned at work, says European Court of Justice

Headscarves and other religious, philosophical and political symbols can be banned at work, says European Court of Justice

Posted: Tue, 31 May 2016 16:26

A general workplace ban on visible political, philosophical and religious symbols in the workplace, including headscarves, is not discriminatory against Muslim women, a European Court of Justice judge has said.

Discriminatory faith school bus policy “under review”

Discriminatory faith school bus policy “under review”

Posted: Tue, 31 May 2016 14:19

The National Secular Society has welcomed news from Telford and Wrekin Council that its discriminatory school transport policy is being reconsidered.

Theresa May launches review of Sharia law in England and Wales

Theresa May launches review of Sharia law in England and Wales

Posted: Thu, 26 May 2016 11:44

The Government has announced the launch of its long-awaited independent review into Sharia law in England and Wales, to be chaired by Professor Mona Siddiqui.

Crematoria should be religiously neutral and welcoming to all

Crematoria should be religiously neutral and welcoming to all

Posted: Tue, 24 May 2016 11:09

The National Secular Society (NSS) has urged the Government to ensure that all state-owned crematoria are religiously neutral, allowing religious symbols to be added when requested.

Prayers scrapped at Bridgnorth Town Council meetings

Prayers scrapped at Bridgnorth Town Council meetings

Posted: Fri, 20 May 2016 07:46

A town council in Shropshire has voted to drop prayers from its meetings over concerns that the imposition of prayer was putting people off from attending.

UK government must ensure it protects free speech with new counter-extremism plans

UK government must ensure it protects free speech with new counter-extremism plans

Posted: Wed, 18 May 2016 16:02

A broad coalition of campaign groups including the National Secular Society has warned that proposals contained in the Queen's Speech could criminalise a "wide swathe of speech."

Thousands of children “hidden away” in illegal faith schools at risk of indoctrination and extremism

Thousands of children “hidden away” in illegal faith schools at risk of indoctrination and extremism

Posted: Wed, 18 May 2016 13:43

Ofsted has found over 50 suspected illegal faith schools since January, prompting renewed fears about thousands of children being taught in unregistered schools with no oversight.