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National Secular Society

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Welcome to this monthly update from the No More Faith Schools campaign.

In news this month, a report has highlighted how religious control of Northern Ireland's schools reinforces social division. The National Secular Society (which coordinates our campaign) has also published a report this month marking the 10th anniversary of the Equality Act. The report highlights all the exemptions in equality laws necessitated by faith schools. Closing these loopholes would be an important step towards a community school system for all.

We're still very keen to organise a full programme of local talks in 2021, though these will need to be later in the year or take place online. This can be a great way to energise an existing group or galvanise a new one. It would be fantastic to get a lot more events booked in from April 2021. If you know a group who would be interested, please get in touch.

If you're looking for some quick ideas to support the campaign, the best place you can start is 20 ways you can support an end to faith schools today. Thanks so much to those continuing to sign and share the petition, your comments in particular really do inform our work.

Best wishes,

Alastair Lichten
NMFS campaign coordinator

  

News & opinion

 

Report: religious control of NI’s schools reinforces social division

Granting churches power over school governance in Northern Ireland exacerbates the challenges facing the education system, reinforces social division and squanders public resources, according to a new academic report.

 

It’s time to tackle loopholes in equality law which privilege religion

On the 10th anniversary of the Equality Act coming into force, Lynne Featherstone says reforms proposed by the NSS on education, caste discrimination and employment would make Britain fairer and more cohesive.

  

Recent petition comments

  

"As a teacher and a non-religious person, I am saddened by the lack of non-religious schools. The new research showing 130,000 children experiencing religious indoctrination against their parents' preferences should be a wake-up call: we need to prioritise the running of new schools based on social reality, not incumbent faith advantage."
- David, from EAST LONDON

  

"All children deserve a top-quality education to prepare them for a life in which people of all faiths and none, work together for the common good. The best way to achieve this is by ensuring that children are educated together, in schools that promote the common good by non-sectarian teaching."
- Valerie, from BRIGHTON

  
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