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National Secular Society

November 2018 update



This month's update isn't quite as packed as the last one. As always, a lot of our work is behind the scenes – helping parents stand up for their rights when they've little choice but a faith school. In updates this month we have a typical story of children refused school places due to discriminatory policies, and supporter Robert a primary school teacher shares his testimonial about the threat faith schools pose to children's education.

Sharing your story can be a powerful way to support the campaign, and our website has a variety of ways you can get involved.

At the No More Faith Schools campaign our focus is on state schools across the UK. We don't campaign against private faith schools, but do support efforts to ensure children's rights are protected in the independent sector. This month the National Secular Society (who coordinate our campaign) reported on the first convictions for running an unregistered faith school, independent faith schools still open after multiple failures and ten more independent faith schools issued warnings by DfE.

Also this month, I attended the launch of a new report form the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain. It's core message: Let children make their own minds up about religion it makes the strong ethical case that directive religious schools undermine children's freedom of belief. Education should value individual autonomy and give children the tools they need to make informed decisions, including about religion.

One often overlooked harm of faith schools is their ability to teach RSE (relationships and sex education) through a faith ethos. Too often this is a euphemism for discrimination, stigmatisation and misinformation. The government is currently consulting on new RSE guidance for English schools. The deadline for the consultation is 7 November and more information and a link to take part are on the NSS website.

Thank you to everyone continuing to write to your MP, share the petition, spread the message on social media and let us know about new faith school proposals. If you need resources or a No More Faith Schools speaker for a local group, please let us know.

Best wishes,

Alastair Lichten
NMFS campaign


Latest updates


Publicly funded faith schools damage children's education and are undemocratic

Teachers have an obligation to broaden children's minds, says Robert Bradley. While secular education introduces children... Read More »


Children refused school places due to discriminatory policies, complaints reveal

A girl of Muslim background and a girl with autism were among those refused places at state-funded faith schools in September because of discriminatory policies, complaints to an ombudsman have revealed.

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