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National Secular Society

August 2019 update



This month we've backed plans by Seaview Primary School to be the first Catholic school in Northern Ireland to transform to integrated status. We have an update on Peterborough City Council's consultation on a new potentially fully selective faith school. We also have a guest piece from Joanne Bartley, a campaigner with the group Comprehensive Future, on the damaging message sent by faith based selection.

We normally use the newsletter to highlight all the ways you can get involved in the campaign. If you're stuck for ideas, there are plenty on the website. But for the next few months we want to put particular focus on one campaign action each time. This month we're encouraging people to send in testimonials. Scroll down for more as we explain why sharing a testimonial can be such an effective action.

To get you inspired, we've included three testimonials published over the last month. Catherine shares how her Catholic faith school promoted shame and homophobia. Simon, a parent governor at a C of E faith school, shares his experience of dogma being pushed as fact. Finally, Jen highlights the concern that her children's freedom to make their own minds up about religion will be undermined at a local Catholic school.

Best wishes,

Alastair Lichten
Campaign coordinator - NMFS


Campaign action of the month - testimonials


Statistics and theoretical arguments may win some people over, but sharing stories help many more empathise with those affected by faith schools and perhaps rethink their support. A testimonial can let people who've experienced similar issues know that they aren't alone.

A testimonial doesn't need to be overly long or complicated. It just needs to tell your story of how you've been affected by faith schools and what you think of it. If you're one of the hundreds who has shared a short story or talked about your experience in a comment on our petition, then you already have a starting point that can be fleshed out.

Think about the common myths put forward about faith schools and how your experience addresses them. You can send us a draft or outline of your testimonial here.


Latest news & opinion


Catholic school plans to be first in NI to become integrated

The No More Faith Schools campaign has backed plans for a Catholic school to become the first in Northern Ireland to transform... Read More »


Council to consult over planned Catholic school in Peterborough

Peterborough City Council will open a consultation in November over plans to open a new state funded Catholic faith school... Read More »


Faith based selection sends a damaging message to our children

Joanne Bartley, a campaigner with the group Comprehensive Future, argues that a comprehensive education system should also... Read More »




Pupil's perspective: My Catholic school indoctrinated and shamed its pupils

Our homophobic Catholic school brainwashed young minds into feeling a deep sense of guilt just for being ordinary human beings,... Read More »


Parent’s perspective: Faith schools push dogma as fact and undermine inclusion

It's high time for parents to demand an end to religious groups' control of children's education, says Simon from West Yorkshire.... Read More »


Parent’s perspective: Why should my children have religion imposed on them at a Catholic school?

I'm worried my children's freedom to make their own choices on religion will be undermined at a local Catholic college, says... Read More »

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