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Newsline 28 July 2017

The government is under pressure over its policy of extending faith-based education. Over the weekend Amanda Spielman, Ofsted's chief inspector, criticised plans to allow some faith schools to select all of their students on the basis of their parents' faith. It's important we keep the pressure up to prevent this expansion in religious discrimination. The government wants to set up at least 140 new CofE faiths schools in England over the next five years, including 40 in the next wave of free schools. These changes will entrench the hold which faith groups have over our children's education and, by extension, British society.

Meanwhile free thinkers have been pushing back against the intolerance of Islamists and their apologists. From Saturday to Monday the International Conference on Freedom of Conscience and Expression reportedly witnessed the "largest gathering of ex-Muslims in history" in central London. We are proud to say the NSS took part in the conference. The event provided a stark reminder that we must support the right to speak your mind, and resist the attempts of theocrats and their apologists to police speech. This is one of the greatest human rights challenges of our time. And when we stop exchanging ideas freely, we give up on the chance of accumulating knowledge, understanding the world and improving society. It was in this spirit that we also expressed our support for our honorary associate Richard Dawkins this week, after he was disinvited from an appearance on a California radio station over his views on Islam.

Intolerant religion mustn’t dictate England’s education policy

Intolerant religion mustn’t dictate England’s education policy

Opinion | Wed, 26 Jul 2017

The government is under fire over proposals to lift the cap on faith-based admissions in faith schools. Stephen Evans says the plans should be abandoned - and religious groups' role in education rolled back.

NSS expresses support for 'deplatformed' Richard Dawkins

NSS expresses support for 'deplatformed' Richard Dawkins

News | Tue, 25 Jul 2017

The National Secular Society has expressed its support for Richard Dawkins after a radio station cancelled one of his speeches because of his criticisms of Islam.

Church of England’s links with insurer undermines justice for survivors of clergy abuse

Church of England’s links with insurer undermines justice for survivors of clergy abuse

Opinion | Wed, 26 Jul 2017

Anglican abuse victims believe the Church's close links with its insurer results in lower settlements to victims. NSS executive director Keith Porteous Wood thinks they've got a point, and offers solutions to put things right.

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