Author: Alastair Lichten
Posted: Thu, 05 Dec 2019 by Alastair Lichten
After two parents forced a school trust to provide an alternative to religious assemblies for their children, Alastair Lichten says the law which requires schools to hold acts of worship needs to change. Read More »
Posted: Thu, 14 Nov 2019 by Alastair Lichten
The Welsh government is considering removing the parental right to withdraw from religious education. Alastair Lichten argues that despite potential benefits, reforms don't go far enough to justify ending this longstanding right. Read More »
Posted: Fri, 25 Oct 2019 by Alastair Lichten
A report has called into question religious control over the curriculum and ethos of Northern Irish schools. Alastair Lichten says it should prompt a re-evaluation of the segregated, inefficient system which exists now. Read More »
Posted: Tue, 15 Oct 2019 by Alastair Lichten
The government has published new guidance for schools facing disruption from religious groups who oppose LGBT-inclusive education. Alastair Lichten welcomes the gesture but says the substance doesn't go far enough. Read More »
Posted: Mon, 05 Aug 2019 by Alastair Lichten
As opposition to compulsory worship gathers and its defenders grow increasingly out of touch, Alastair Lichten says ministers should reconsider the law and its implementation. Read More »
Posted: Thu, 25 Jul 2019 by Alastair Lichten
The campaign against inclusive relationships and sex education risks spreading from the school gates to sympathetic faith school authorities. Alastair Lichten argues the government must act now to save the subject. Read More »
Posted: Fri, 03 May 2019 by Alastair Lichten
The government has published new guidance on independent schools, amid systemic failings by independent faith schools. Alastair Lichten looks at what's changed and how the DfE has handled religious groups' demands. Read More »
Posted: Tue, 12 Feb 2019 by Alastair Lichten
A government plan on integration sets out a positive vision on education - but faith schools remain the elephant in the room. Alastair Lichten asks if ministers' actions will match their rhetoric. Read More »
Posted: Mon, 07 Jan 2019 by Alastair Lichten
After a father threatens the government with legal action over a requirement to teach about LGBT people in independent schools, Alastair Lichten argues the focus should remain on protecting pupils' rights. Read More »
Posted: Mon, 10 Dec 2018 by Alastair Lichten
We often hear that faith schools improve choice. But an NSS report shows that this narrative mischaracterises the challenges facing families and public education's role in a diverse society, says Alastair Lichten. Read More »
Posted: Thu, 18 Oct 2018 by Alastair Lichten
Posted: Fri, 20 Jul 2018 by Alastair Lichten
The Church of England's pretence that 'its' schools aren't faith schools is a dishonest attempt to avoid association with the unpopularity of faith-based schooling, and at odds with their actual policy, argues Alastair Lichten.
When the term 'faith school'... Read More »
Posted: Tue, 12 Jun 2018 by Alastair Lichten
Posted: Wed, 06 Jun 2018 by Alastair Lichten
New guidance on managing parents' right to withdraw their children from religious education in Wales is largely common sense, says Alastair Lichten. But it downplays the confessional nature of some RE teaching.
The right to withdraw from RE is a difficult area... Read More »
Posted: Mon, 23 Apr 2018 by Alastair Lichten
We can mitigate the harm caused by faith schools in plenty of ways. But after the launch of the No More Faith Schools campaign, Alastair Lichten says the long-term battle is over the fact faith groups run schools at all.
I spent a lot of Friday reading though... Read More »
Posted: Thu, 15 Mar 2018 by Alastair Lichten
Our education and schools officer examines the education proposals in the Government's new integration strategy, arguing they should lead to a wider discussion of children's rights and facing up to the religious segregation rife in education.
When we talk about... Read More »
Posted: Thu, 30 Nov 2017 by Alastair Lichten
As supporters of a new Bill aim to see home schooling in England registered for the first time, education and schools campaigner Alastair Lichten says children's independent rights must receive greater focus.
NSS honorary associate Lord Soley aims to register... Read More »
Posted: Thu, 23 Nov 2017 by Alastair Lichten
Posted: Fri, 10 Nov 2017 by Alastair Lichten
The myth of a culture war on Christmas may be comical and its claims endlessly debunked, but its promotion is part of a campaign for Christian supremacy, argues Alastair Lichten.
It's coming… the 'WAR ON CHRISTMAS!!!' You've been warned: the seasonal... Read More »
Posted: Thu, 05 Oct 2017 by Alastair Lichten
Posted: Thu, 11 May 2017 by Alastair Lichten
Parents and staff regularly contact the NSS over concerns related to religious influence in their schools. Campaigns officer Alastair Lichten looks at a typical example of the casework we receive and what lessons can be learned.
A small rural primary school... Read More »
Posted: Wed, 08 Mar 2017 by Alastair Lichten
On International Women's Day 2017 NSS campaigns officer Alastair Lichten reflects on the intersection of gender and religious privilege, and what the secularist movement can learn from IWD.
The theocratic mindset has always had a particular obsession with policing... Read More »
Posted: Tue, 31 Jan 2017 by Alastair Lichten
Donald Trump may be America's latest 'atheist president', but his presidency has put Christian Nationalism at the heart of its policy agenda.
Modern theocracy whether of the Islamist, Christian Dominionist or Hindu Nationalist variety is about belief, but it... Read More »
Advice for parents wanting to give the evangelical Operation Christmas Child shoebox scheme a wide berth
Posted: Wed, 12 Oct 2016 by Alastair Lichten
Alastair Lichten looks at the ethical, educational and efficiency case against the Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child shoebox scheme.
It gets earlier every year. Despite the unseasonable sunshine this September we've already started to receive the... Read More »
Posted: Thu, 21 Jul 2016 by Alastair Lichten