It's been a busy start to the year at the No More Faith Schools campaign, and we have a busy few months ahead. The first round of applications for funding for
new VA faith schools have been submitted. These schools (which the government's own assessment shows will increase discrimination) can potentially select all of
their teachers and pupils on religious grounds and teach denominational RE.
We're working to ensure all of these proposals face robust local challenges and have reported on the first proposals to be
published in Cambridgeshire. Going through the proposals will be a significant piece of work and challenges will need local support to be successful. So if you
have a proposed new faith school in your area, please get in touch.
The campaign isn't just about challenging faith schools, but about a positive vision of what an education system free from religious control would look like. My
main opinion piece this month makes the case that an end to faith schools would not impose conformity or be without compromise, as our system of community
A SECULAR EDUCATION SYSTEM WOULD MEAN COMMUNITY
SCHOOLS FOR ALL
In other news this month, we've reported on a study showing how league tables overestimate faith schools'
performance and on Northern Ireland,
where the hideously inefficient segregated school system is exacerbating the effect of cuts.
On Wednesday 20th of March I will be visiting Belfast to learn more about the challenges facing their sectarian school system and efforts to integrate
it. I'm hoping to arrange some sort of social or meetup with supporters while I'm over. If you're interested, please let me know.
Also in March on Wednesday the 6th, I'll be giving a talk about secular education and
#NoMoreFaithSchools at Brighton Humanists. If you're in the area, please come
and say hello.
If you'd like a speaker or resources for a #NoMoreFaithSchools meeting of your own,
please get in touch.
In the last update I mentioned the new report from the National Secular Society (The choice delusion: how faith schools restrict primary school choice in England). If you want to
check that out there's a link to share the report with MPs and help challenge this common defence of faith schools.
Finally, I have a bit of NSS news separate from the No More Faith Schools campaign. In the run up to our major conference in May (Secularism 2019: Reclaiming Religious Freedom) we've
launched a new podcast. The first two episodes are available now, and the series will
feature me talking to a variety of experts and activists about freedom of and from religion. Please tune in.
The coming months will be very important for the No More Faith School campaign. We are grateful for everyone who's written to their MP, signed the petition and
shared their story. If everyone reading this can take just one of two more actions for the campaign, we can really increase our impact. It's not enough to be
right, only activism can create change.