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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

Secular Education Forum

The Secular Education Forum (SEF) provides expert and professional advice and opinion to the National Secular Society (NSS) on issues related to education and provides a forum for anyone with expertise in the intersection of education and secularism.

The SEF's main objective is to advocate the value of secularism/religious neutrality as a professional standard in education. The SEF welcomes supporters of all faiths and none. It provides expert support for the NSS working towards a secular education system free from religious privilege, proselytization, partisanship or discrimination.

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Membership of the Secular Education Forum is intended for education professionals (including current, former and trainee professionals) and those with a particular expertise in the intersection of secularism and education. All requests to join will be considered after signing up to the mailing list.


Education blogs and commentary

A selection of blogs and comment pieces on education and secularism. For education news from the NSS, please click here.

Why we need a 21st century RE for all

Why we need a 21st century RE for all

Wed, 17 May 2017 by Stephen Evans

Next year marks the 30th anniversary of the Education Reform Act 1988 which saw the introduction of a national curricular entitlement for all pupils. One subject alone remains set apart from this - religious education.

Casework focus: community schools and religious takeovers

Casework focus: community schools and religious takeovers

Thu, 11 May 2017 by Alastair Lichten

Parents and staff regularly contact the NSS over concerns related to religious influence in their schools. Campaigns officer Alastair Lichten looks at a typical example of the casework we receive and what lessons can be learned.

Why are we still allowing religion to retard young people’s education and health rights?

Why are we still allowing religion to retard young people’s education and health rights?

Thu, 09 Mar 2017 by Stephen Evans

The Government's proposals on Relationships and Sex Education are a step in the right direction – but religious opt outs mean many children will continue to be left behind, writes Stephen Evans.

A faith-based education system is deeply inefficient

A faith-based education system is deeply inefficient

Tue, 07 Mar 2017 by Benjamin Jones

Both the Government and the Labour Party have wilful blind spots around faith schools, and as the Government looks set to launch a new wave of faith schools amid an education funding crisis, how can such an inefficient system be justified?

Faith schools mustn’t be allowed to stymie young people’s sexual health and well-being

Faith schools mustn’t be allowed to stymie young people’s sexual health and well-being

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 by Stephen Evans

Political sensitivity about faith schools is getting in the way of providing evidence-based, age-appropriate sex and relationships education (SRE) to all children. We can't wait forever for the Government's proposals on SRE, writes Stephen Evans.