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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

Religion and Schools

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

Schools with a religious character, 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

Jewish faith school’s admission policy amounts to “discrimination on the basis of race”

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Thu, 18 Dec 2014 13:50

The Office of the Schools Adjudicator has instructed two Jewish faith schools to revise their admissions policies, with one of the schools found to have a policy which amounted to "discrimination on the basis of race."

Government forces local authority to hand over £1 million site to 'Sikh ethos free school'

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Leeds City Council has been ordered to hand over a former primary school site worth almost £1 million to an enable an undersubscribed Sikh free school to relocate.

Schools Minister writes to Rabbi over advice to avoid science questions at Jewish faith school

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The Minister for Schools has written to an Orthodox Jewish school, after the NSS raised concerns that the school was advising pupils to not answer exam questions on evolution and human reproduction.

DfE issues new guidance for promoting “fundamental British values”

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Thu, 27 Nov 2014 21:10

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