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National Secular Society

I hope this email finds you safe and well amid the coronavirus pandemic. Many schools are now closed, and thousands of families have followed government guidance and withdrawn their children from school.

However, the No More Faith Schools campaign continues. We're all working remotely - perhaps surprisingly, some of the most effective campaigning can be done from your very own home. And during this period of self-isolation and social distancing, there is still much you can do to challenge faith schools. In fact, there are currently three consultations on faith schools open with swiftly approaching deadlines.

If you're stuck at home, please do consider using your time to respond. You might even want to encourage your children to help with your response too if they're at home with you - this is a good way to teach them about local democracy. After all, the rights and interests of children are at the heart of the No More Faith Schools campaign.

Please tell Inverclyde Council: No more faith testing!
DEADLINE: This Wednesday, 25 March

Since last year we've been campaigning against proposals to expand Catholic school provision in Inverclyde. Thanks to a strong public response, including from NMFS supporters, Inverclyde Council has now ruled out some of the worst options (including converting a non-denominational school into a Catholic school). However, it now proposes to give only children with baptism certificates entitlement to admission to Catholic secondary schools without a placing request.

Please respond to the Council's consultation here, and ask them to abandon these plans for more faith testing in admissions. Tell them that children's rights to enrol in local schools shouldn't be determined by their parents' religion. Ask them to work towards more inclusive schools for all. The proposal response form is very brief and shouldn't take more than a few minutes, so please do respond!

The National Secular Society, which coordinates the NMFS campaign, has already responded. You can view the response here.

PLUS: Although it isn't one of our NMFS local campaigns, Renfrewshire Council are consulting on similar plans to increase faith testing in their admissions for Catholic schools. The deadline to respond is next Tuesday, 31 March - you can respond here. The National Secular Society's response is here. Read more...

Please tell Surrey County Council: Don't turn a local community school into a faith school!
DEADLINE: 12 noon, Wednesday 22 April.

Surrey County Council are going forward with plans to turn Englefield Green Infant School into a Church of England faith school as part of a school amalgamation. This is despite the fact that their informal consultation showed most respondents do not approve of these plans. Surrey County Councillor Robert Evans also doesn't agree and has contributed an opinion piece saying why on the NMFS website here.

However, it's still not too late to raise your objections. The Council are now formally consulting on their plans. Please respond - even if you responded to the initial informal consultation, it's now time to tell the Council again that there is no good reason to turn this inclusive community school into a faith school. You can respond here - again, it's a very brief and simple form that won't take long to complete.

Some good news! Plymouth Brethren school plans on shaky ground

And finally, to end on some much-needed good news... the Education Authority in Northern Ireland has said it will not support plans to make two schools which are run by an evangelical church schools' network state-funded. The EA said it was "not in a position to support" the proposal by OneSchool Global Network (OSG), which is run by the fundamentalist Plymouth Brethren Christian Church. A big thank you to all our supporters who voiced their opposition to the schools! Read more...

Thank you as always for your support - and stay safe in these troubling times.

Best wishes,

No More Faith Schools

  

News & opinion highlights

 

Recommendation to turn community school into faith school approved

Plans to turn a community school into a faith school in Surrey are set to proceed, despite objections raised by local residents... Read More »

 

Let’s not replace a community school with a faith school in Surrey

A plan to open a Church of England school on the site of a community school in the village of Englefield Green is not in... Read More »

 

Education Authority won’t support Evangelical group’s state school

The Education Authority in Northern Ireland will not support plans to make two schools which are run by an evangelical church... Read More »

 

Don’t add faith testing to admissions, NMFS campaign warns council

The No More Faith Schools campaign has warned a council in western Scotland that proposed changes to its school admission... Read More »

  
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