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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

Education

Education is where a lack of secularism impinges most on the lives of British citizens.

Schools with a religious character/ethos or 'faith schools' as they are commonly known, account for around a third of our publicly funded schools. This seriously limits choice for parents who do not want a religious education for their children, or do not share the faith of the local school.

Despite a consistent and dramatic decline in church attendance, and a growing proportion of non-religious citizens, successive governments have paved the way for ever greater religious involvement in education, often to the detriment of community schools.

We oppose publicly funded faith schools and campaign for an end to religious discrimination in school admissions.

We also campaign for an end to compulsory worship in schools and for reform of Religious Education.

A secular approach to education would see 'faith schools' phased out and ensure that publicly funded schools are equally welcoming to all children, regardless of their religious and philosophical backgrounds.

Visit our education statistics page for facts and figures on religion and education.

Related News

Government plans mass expansion of CofE faith schools across England

Government plans mass expansion of CofE faith schools across England

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 11:04

The Department for Education hopes to open at least another 140 Church of England schools in the next five years, according to the Church Times.

Intolerant religion mustn’t dictate England’s education policy

Intolerant religion mustn’t dictate England’s education policy

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 10:52 by Stephen Evans

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.

100% faith-based admissions leads to increased levels of segregation, says schools inspectorate

100% faith-based admissions leads to increased levels of segregation, says schools inspectorate

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 08:52

The chief inspector of schools has criticised Government proposals to allow some faith schools to select all of their pupils on the basis of faith and suggested the plans may be dropped.

Never mind joining SACREs, we should be abolishing them

Never mind joining SACREs, we should be abolishing them

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 11:39 by Keith Sharpe

A parent's legal challenge to the exclusion of a humanist representative from the local body responsible for overseeing religious education highlights the need for urgent reform of this contested area of the curriculum, argues Keith Sharpe.

The PM must be held to account for her faith school obsession

The PM must be held to account for her faith school obsession

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 18:12 by Chris Sloggett

Theresa May's plans to expand faith schools in Britain are ill-judged. In response, Chris Sloggett argues, it is up to secularists to make a principled case: state education must be grounded in reason and free intellectual enquiry.