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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege


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Newsline 16 March 2018


This week there's been some very positive progress on our campaign against unregistered faith schools.

Next Saturday we'll be hosting Secularist Of The Year 2018. We're excited at the prospect of celebrating the outstanding achievements of our shortlisted nominees and awarding the £5,000 prize to the overall winner. We also look forward to meeting many of our members and supporters in person.

Our nominees have made a variety of contributions to the secularist cause, showing how relevant and necessary secularism is to us all as individuals and to society as a whole. We're keen to take every opportunity to remind the world of what secularists can achieve and why their cause is worth fighting for.

If you haven't already got tickets, you can still do so on our website here. There's an exclusive discount for our members, and the ticket includes a three course meal and welcome drink.

We hope as many of our supporters as possible will join us for what promises to be a day of inspiration, celebration and optimism.


News & Opinion


Tackling unregistered schools ‘a priority’, says DfE

The Department for Education has said unregistered schools are limiting children's life chances and tackling them is a priority.


Government integration strategy places emphasis on faith groups

The NSS has expressed concern over the government's proposed reliance on faith leaders in an integration strategy for England.


We can’t build a shared society around segregated schools

Our education and schools officer examines the education proposals in the Government's new integration strategy, arguing... Read More »


What comes after The Silence of the Liberals?

Nick Cohen has skewered the hypocrisy of leftists who apologise for Islamic intolerance, says Chris Sloggett. To defeat it... Read More »


Swedish governing party plans to end religious 'free' schools

Sweden's governing party will propose ending the role of publicly-funded religious 'free' schools in its manifesto for autumn's election.


NSS: school which censored textbooks trying to hide from criticism

The NSS has said a Jewish school which engaged in anti-gay censorship is using erroneous accusations of bigotry to hide from criticism.


Church dysfunctionality laid bare by child sexual abuse inquiry

As the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse turns its attention to the Church of England, Keith Porteous Wood says... Read More »


Quotes of the week

"Schools are at the heart of our communities, bringing families from all walks of life together. Through education, we can ensure the next generation learns the values that underpin our society – fairness, tolerance and respect."
Lord Agnew, the schools minister on government plans to tackle illegal schools

"For us it's clear that no student should be subjected to religious influence in school. To have faith or not should be every child's own choice."
Anna Ekström, Swedish school minister on plans to stop state funding of religious schools

"All of us have a responsibility to challenge extremist rhetoric. People should be free to scrutinise Islam. But they must not aid the hatred of Muslims."
Maajid Nawaz responds to the circulation of a letter calling for a 'Punish a Muslim day'

See our quotes of the week archive...


Essays of the week

The value of French secularism
By Martin Gak, for
French secularism and the country's separation of church and state were not paroxysms of irrational violence; they were critical instruments of emancipation from the political use of religious norms.

Have our grocery purchases been funding female genital mutilation?
By Dana Forrest, for Conatus News
The debate around halal food hasn't touched on how halal certification might have helped to enable the suffering of thousands of young girls.

Religious freedom must not be a green light to discriminate
By Hugh Harris, for the Sydney Morning Herald
Australia's review into religious freedom would do well to reflect on the real-life scenarios where belief collides with the rights of individuals.


Secularist of the Year 2018

Tickets are now on sale for Secularist of the Year 2018. The awards ceremony and social reception will be held on Saturday 24 March in central London. Member tickets are £40. Join us to celebrate the outstanding groups and inspiring individuals advancing secularism and related human rights.

Find out more...


Conference on 21st Century RE for All

Thirty years after the introduction of a national curricular entitlement for all pupils, the religious education syllabus is still decided locally by committees of faith representatives, or worse, by religious bodies responsible for running faith schools.

This one day conference will explore the future of religion and belief education in schools, and how we can create a truly balanced and non-partisan approach.

Saturday 14 April, Conway Hall, Central London.

Find out more...


Other events


Nottingham Secular Society: Assisted Dying - What do you think?

Date: Tuesday 27th March 2018, 19:30 prompt start
Location: the Canal House, 48-52 Canal Street, Nottingham
Tickets: £2 on the door
Details: Tim Bell is a retired local man, whose working career... Read More »


Scottish Secular Society: The Major Minor Cinema: the Highlands and Islands Film Guild (1946-71)

Date: Thursday 3 May 2018

Time: 19:30–22:00
Venue: 17 Queens Crescent, St Georges Cross, G4 9BL Glasgow, United Kingdom

Dr Ian Good and Dr Ealasaid Munro present some of the key findings of their AHRC... Read More »


One Law For All: Conference on Sharia, Segregation and Secularism

Date: Sunday 25 November 2018, 09:30 – 20:30
Location: Central London
Tickets: From £65.27
Details: Join notable secularists and veteran women's rights campaigners for a conference on Sharia,... Read More »


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