No more faith schools

No more faith schools

Page 3 of 289: 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!

CAMPAIGN ALERT: Tell Labour to think again on faith schools

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer recently stated he "wouldn't tinker" with how faith schools are run, and that Labour would be "even more supportive of faith schools" than the current government.

Join us in calling on Labour to think again on faith schools. Write to your Labour MP or representative today.

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

Monkey Business Images, Shutterstock

NSS highlights religious barriers to inclusive education in NI

Posted: Mon, 15 Jan 2024 14:12

NSS response to inquiry calls for more integrated schools and more secular education system in Northern Ireland.

Ben Molyneux, iStock

Faith schools “most socially selective”, report finds

Posted: Thu, 11 Jan 2024 13:04

Faith schools admit disproportionately fewer pupils on free school meals, says Sutton Trust.

More information

Research and reports