Education remains the most important battleground for secularists in the UK. And if schools are a microcosm of tomorrow's society, promoters of the secularist
cause are about to face a busy and testing few years. This week parents of primary school children in Tunbridge Wells have resisted the spread of evangelism – and
been branded "extremists" for raising reasonable concerns. The Government is failing to address faith schools' ability to discriminate when they hire teachers, and
more children are attending C of E services during school time.
But last Friday brought a significant piece of positive news: the Court of Appeal ruled that gender segregation at a state-funded Islamic school was unlawful sex
discrimination. We hope this will give policy makers and Ofsted inspectors confidence that society will support them when they stand up to attempts to introduce
intolerant practices into our children's schools under the guise of religion.
Academics say a set of Christian exams that have been deemed comparable to GCSEs and A-levels are failing to prepare pupils for university – or the modern
Quote of the week
"Only a bigot would deny the advantages of freedom of religion, and irreligion, and of a society in which the evidence of science, and comparative lack of
evidence of God, are no longer suppressed. It's a development that's both caused by and causes greater understanding, justice and compassion." David Mitchell, actor, writer and comedian
Free speech is the last defence of minorities, protecting them from the overwhelming power of the state and the tyranny of the majority.
NSS speaks out
Our campaigns director Stephen Evans was quoted in the Guardian and
in response to the Court of Appeal's ruling on gender segregation.
Annual General Meeting
The Annual General Meeting of the National Secular Society will be held on Saturday 25 November 2017 in the Main Hall at Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London,
WC1R 4RL at 1:30 p.m. Registration will start at 1:00 p.m. Please arrive promptly. Tea, coffee and soft drinks will be
available before the meeting.
The meeting is open to paid-up members and affiliated group representatives only. Only one representative of each affiliated group will be
admitted, and they will be able to cast a vote on its behalf if they bring an authorising letter from their organisation. Your Council hopes that as many members
as possible will come to participate in the meeting and have the opportunity to meet the Council, staff and other members. We particularly welcome those who have
not been to an AGM before.
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Please support our work so we can make the case for a fairer secular democracy for all.