No more faith schools

No more faith schools

We need inclusive schools free from religious discrimination, privilege or control.

Faith schools undermine equality, choice and social cohesion.

Let's build an inclusive education system today, to ensure an inclusive society tomorrow.

Our education system should be open and welcoming to all. That's why we want publicly funded faith schools phased out and an end to religiously selective school admissions.

Around a third of publicly funded schools in England and Wales are faith schools – schools with a religious character. Scottish and Northern Irish schools are still divided along sectarian lines.

Separating children according to religion is divisive and leads to religious, ethnic and socio-economic segregation.

To make matters worse, many faith schools can discriminate against pupils and teachers who do not share the religion of the school.

  • 58% of Brits oppose faith schools and only 30% say they have "no objection" to faith schools being funded by the state.
  • 72% of voters, including 68% of Christians, oppose state funded schools being allowed to discriminate against prospective pupils on religious grounds in their admissions policy.

Parents are entitled to raise their children within a faith tradition, but they are not entitled to enlist the help of the state to do so. The state should not allow the schools it funds to inculcate children into a particular religion.

Faith schools seriously limit choice for parents who do not want a religious education for their children, or do not share the faith of the local school. Our research has found that 18,000 families were assigned faith schools against their wishes in England in 2017 alone.

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

A secular approach to education would ensure publicly funded schools are equally welcoming to all children, regardless of their backgrounds.


Take action!

1. Write to your MP

Please call on your MP to support a secular, inclusive education system for all.

2. Share your story

Tell us why you support this campaign, and how you are personally affected by the issue. You can also let us know if you would like assistance with a particular issue.

3. Join us

Become a member of the National Secular Society today! Together, we can separate religion and state for greater freedom and fairness.

Latest updates

Blogging Guide, Unsplash

NSS welcomes plan to tackle unregistered schools in new bill

Posted: Thu, 18 Jul 2024 14:19

NSS welcomes new duties and powers to end unregistered schools in bill but says plans must go further to ensure fairness in education

Katya H. via Wikipedia

NSS opposes plan to convert secular school into faith school

Posted: Tue, 16 Jul 2024 09:16

Proposals would see holy communion introduced in celebration services and could allow faith-based admissions in future, NSS warns

More information

Research and reports