Happy New Year from the National Secular Society!
Just after Christmas we launched a major new report calling for secular reforms in education, law, and to the State. It had excellent coverage in the Economist, who said that it was "artfully gradualist" in setting out reforms that could be made now, while not losing sight of the broader, ultimate aims of the Society such as the disestablishment of the Church and the abolition of faith-based schooling.
There are steps the Government can take now to lessen discrimination against non-religious parents, reduce the growth of segregation in our society and schools, and protect freedom of speech. We've outlined all of them with concise, easy to read recommendations, which we sent to every MP.
There are many excellent advocates for secularism and human rights and every year we recognise one individual or group as the 'Secularist of the Year'. We're currently accepting nominations - who do you think should win? The winner receives the £5,000 Irwin Prize, generously sponsored by Dr Michael Irwin.
Later this month we'll be hosting an event in Parliament to mark the 2nd anniversary of the attack on Charlie Hebdo. There are still places; RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. Space is limited.
If you want to support our work into this new year campaigning on the manifesto and its recommendations, then please consider giving us a donation or joining the Society (if you are not already a member). Thank you for your support and all the best for 2017. We hope to see you at one of our upcoming events.
Our executive director Keith Porteous Wood spoke this week to BBC Three Counties about the nine Christian fundamentalist schools that were downgraded by Ofsted.
The TES, the Telegraph, and the Daily Mail all quoted us on religious discrimination against teachers in faith schools. Lynn News quoted our campaigns director Stephen Evans on proposals to expand local Catholic education. Our vice president Alistair McBay had a letter published in The Courier arguing against religious segregation in schools.