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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

NSS calls for end to state funded ‘religiosity inspections’ in schools

NSS calls for end to state funded ‘religiosity inspections’ in schools

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 14:04

The NSS has called for Ofsted to inspect RE in faith schools after research revealed that millions of pounds of public money has been paid to religious organisations to carry out additional inspections of denominational RE.

Catholic Church backs down on ‘faith certificates’ for pupils

Catholic Church backs down on ‘faith certificates’ for pupils

Thu, 08 Jun 2017 13:12

The Catholic Church has dropped plans to take the Government to court in order to give priests the right to arbitrarily determine whether pupils are eligible for a school place on the basis of faith.

Church to gain influence over nine secular schools in Northumberland

Church to gain influence over nine secular schools in Northumberland

Wed, 31 May 2017 16:55

Concerns have been raised over plans for nine community schools in Northumberland to join with one CofE faith school to form a new mixed multi academy trust with a majority of church appointed members.

New poll finds huge opposition to Government’s plans for more discriminatory faith schools

New poll finds huge opposition to Government’s plans for more discriminatory faith schools

Tue, 30 May 2017 14:16

Government plans to allow new faith schools to discriminate on religious grounds by selecting all of their pupils on the basis of faith have attracted mass public opposition, a poll has found.

Four religious representatives appointed to Hebrides education committee

Four religious representatives appointed to Hebrides education committee

Thu, 18 May 2017 15:38

The Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, the local authority for the Hebrides, has appointed four religious figures to its education committee, as it is required to do by law.