Tags: Education

Unravelling the choice delusion

Unravelling the choice delusion

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 »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, admissions

Church schools are faith schools. Pretending otherwise is dishonest

Church schools are faith schools. Pretending otherwise is dishonest

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 »

Tags: Education, Church of England, Faith Schools

I was concerned about proselytisation on a school trip – and the school listened

I was concerned about proselytisation on a school trip – and the school listened

Posted: Thu, 12 Jul 2018 by A Parent

Sometimes concerns regarding religious interference in education can be easily resolved, simply through clear and polite conversations with the school. A parent shares her recent experiences working together with her school to stop educational trips to a church... Read More »

Tags: Education, Evangelism in schools

A Christian theatre company promoted abstinence in my daughter’s school. It was worth challenging it

A Christian theatre company promoted abstinence in my daughter’s school. It was worth challenging it

Posted: Mon, 25 Jun 2018 by A Parent

A parent says it was important to challenge a school's decision to invite a Christian charity to perform a show with a pro-abstinence message under the guise of sex education.

Recently I received a letter from my daughter's school (a local authority-run comprehensive... Read More »

Tags: Education, Sex education, Evangelism in schools

Religion and politics – the discrepancy at the heart of our schools

Religion and politics – the discrepancy at the heart of our schools

Posted: Tue, 12 Jun 2018 by Alastair Lichten

Schools are forbidden from promoting, showing favouritism to or discriminating on the grounds of partisan politics. Alastair Lichten asks why partisan religious beliefs are treated so differently.

Sections 406 and 407 of the Education Act 1996 (applying to... Read More »

Tags: Education, Politics, Faith Schools

The government's U-turn shows the tide is turning against faith schools

The government's U-turn shows the tide is turning against faith schools

Posted: Fri, 18 May 2018 by Stephen Evans

The decision not to allow more faith-based admissions to new free schools in England is a big win, says Stephen Evans. But the expansion of faith schools is the wrong response to Britain's growing religious diversity.

The government's U-turn on its manifesto... Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, Fifty percent cap

How secularism cuts the Gordian knot in education

How secularism cuts the Gordian knot in education

Posted: Fri, 18 May 2018 by Megan Manson

Faith schools' approach to admissions and sex education reminds us that religious groups' interests often conflict with those of society. Megan Manson says the only answer to this is to separate education from religion.

When we tie religion and state together,... Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, Sex Education

Faith schools: why reducing the harm isn’t enough

Faith schools: why reducing the harm isn’t enough

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 »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, Admissions

The row over right of withdrawal highlights the need to reform RE

The row over right of withdrawal highlights the need to reform RE

Posted: Fri, 13 Apr 2018 by Stephen Evans

Teachers from the ATL union have voted to demand a clampdown on parents selectively withdrawing their children from RE. But Stephen Evans says the right to withdraw should only be scrapped once the subject is reformed.

A teaching union warned recently that... Read More »

Tags: Education, Religious education

We can’t build a shared society around segregated schools

We can’t build a shared society around segregated schools

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 »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, Community Cohesion, unregistered schools, Home schooling

Seven women who refused to be silenced by religious bullies

Seven women who refused to be silenced by religious bullies

Posted: Thu, 08 Mar 2018 by Megan Manson

On International Women's Day, Megan Manson celebrates the stories of seven brave and determined women in the UK who religious hardliners have tried – and failed miserably – to bully over the past year.

Religion is one of the key obstructions to... Read More »

Tags: Education, Extremism, LGBTQ rights, Sabbatarianism, Gender Equality

Sturgeon’s praise for Catholic schools will exacerbate Scotland’s tribal divisions

Sturgeon’s praise for Catholic schools will exacerbate Scotland’s tribal divisions

Posted: Wed, 28 Feb 2018 by Neil Barber

Catholic schools are no remedy for a society facing ingrained sectarian division, writes Neil Barber. In praising them Scotland's first minister has shown a willingness to sacrifice social cohesion to reach a block vote.

Often referred to as "Scotland's shame",... Read More »

Tags: Scotland, Education, Faith Schools, Catholic Church

We can’t allow faith groups to hamper efforts to regulate supplementary schools

We can’t allow faith groups to hamper efforts to regulate supplementary schools

Posted: Mon, 12 Feb 2018 by Stephen Evans

As a trial reveals the brainwashing of boys during evening classes at a mosque in Barking, Stephen Evans says the Government should defy faith groups which resist the regulation of out-of-school educational settings.

Schools rightly have safeguarding responsibilities... Read More »

Tags: Education, unregistered schools, supplementary schools

Faith School Admissions: Four Myths Busted

Faith School Admissions: Four Myths Busted

Posted: Mon, 22 Jan 2018 by Megan Manson

Megan Manson takes on common myths about the 50% cap on children admitted on religious grounds to faith schools.

It's unpleasant enough that any institution would turn away a child on the basis of their parents' beliefs. When it's a state-funded school, it's... Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, admissions, Fifty percent cap

The David and Goliath battle in our schools: parents versus religion

The David and Goliath battle in our schools: parents versus religion

Posted: Thu, 11 Jan 2018 by Megan Manson

As NSS research highlights a systemic bias against secular schooling, Megan Manson explores the tactics used by religion to infiltrate education – and how parents are fighting back.

In November, the National Secular Society got a call from a parent whose... Read More »

Tags: Education, Casework focus, Faith Schools, Evangelism in schools, Academisation

Case study: Difficulty exercising the right to withdraw from collective worship

Case study: Difficulty exercising the right to withdraw from collective worship

Posted: Wed, 03 Jan 2018 by A Pupil

Thanks to campaigning by the NSS, sixth-formers have the right to withdraw themselves from collective worship. But faith schools often make this nigh-on-impossible, as this pupil's story from one academy shows.

My sixth form holds three assemblies a week based... Read More »

Tags: Collective worship, Casework focus, Sixth form, Education

Home schooling debate must prompt wider discussion of children’s rights

Home schooling debate must prompt wider discussion of children’s rights

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 »

Tags: Education, Home schooling, Unregistered schools

A lesson in silencing dissent: the controversy of hijab in schools

A lesson in silencing dissent: the controversy of hijab in schools

Posted: Tue, 28 Nov 2017 by Yasmin Rehman

Yasmin Rehman was among campaigners who recently met Ofsted's chief inspector to discuss veiling in schools. Now, she writes, some powerful Muslims are making sinister efforts to silence her and her fellow activists.

As I prepared to mark the International... Read More »

Tags: Education, Islam, Gender Equality

Big ideas for religious education?

Big ideas for religious education?

Posted: Thu, 23 Nov 2017 by Alastair Lichten

The latest report into the problems with religious education reiterates the need to start with a fundamental examination of the subject's purpose. But, Alastair Lichten wonders, do the proposals go far enough?

The Commission on RE is currently consulting on... Read More »

Tags: Education, Religious education

Who controls religious education?

Who controls religious education?

Posted: Thu, 16 Nov 2017 by Stephen Evans

Necessary reforms of religious education are being frustrated by religion's lingering influence. It's time to liberate RE from the vested interests, argues Stephen Evans.

Religious education in England faces "a perilous future" unless it is subject to "strategic,... Read More »

Tags: Education, Religious education

Al-Hijrah School ruling: The fight to end segregation has only just begun

Al-Hijrah School ruling: The fight to end segregation has only just begun

Posted: Sat, 14 Oct 2017 by Megan Manson

The ruling that an Islamic faith school's policy of gender segregation is unlawful should force us to have have a broader conversation about the religious segregation and inequality our children face in UK schools, argues Megan Manson

Make no mistake: the ruling... Read More »

Tags: Education, Gender Equality

'British values': a source of unity in polarised times

'British values': a source of unity in polarised times

Posted: Thu, 05 Oct 2017 by Lottie Moore

Efforts to promote 'British values' in schools are being criticised, mainly on account of their name, but these four clear values already underpin our education, and are something to which we should aspire, argues Lottie Moore.

In 2014 the government made it... Read More »

Tags: British values, Education, Community Cohesion

Lessons from the frontline of Islamic fundamentalism

Lessons from the frontline of Islamic fundamentalism

Posted: Thu, 21 Sep 2017 by Megan Manson

Megan Manson explores autobiographies by two Muslim secularists whose lives have been directly intertwined with Islamist extremism, and asks if the secular pluralism extremists most fear could be our best hope.

"Extremists have shown what frightens them the... Read More »

Tags: Reviews, Islam, Secularism, Education, Terrorism

Intolerant religion mustn’t dictate England’s education policy

Intolerant religion mustn’t dictate England’s education policy

Posted: Wed, 26 Jul 2017 by Stephen Evans

The government is under fire over proposals to lift the cap on faith-based admissions in faith schools. Stephen Evans says the plans should be abandoned - and religious groups' role in education rolled back.

Following criticism of the government's divisive... Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, Church & State, Fifty percent cap, admissions

Never mind joining SACREs, we should be abolishing them

Never mind joining SACREs, we should be abolishing them

Posted: Fri, 21 Jul 2017 by Keith Sharpe

A parent's legal challenge to the exclusion of a humanist representative from the local body responsible for overseeing religious education highlights the need for urgent reform of this contested area of the curriculum, argues Keith Sharpe.

A humanist parent... Read More »

Tags: Education, Religious education, Secularism, Wales