Tags: Education

Children in class

It's time to move on from religious education

Posted: Tue, 17 Aug 2021 by Keith Sharpe

RE has become a subject in search of a purpose. There are better approaches to learning about the diversity of beliefs, and better uses of time than using outdated legislation to perpetuate it, says Keith Sharpe. Read More »

Tags: Education, Religious education

Schools aren’t there to save the church

Schools aren’t there to save the church

Posted: Thu, 22 Jul 2021 by Stephen Evans

The Church of England's new evangelical missional strategy should lead us to question its entitlement to proselytise in schools, argues Stephen Evans. Read More »

Tags: Collective Worship, Education, Evangelism, Faith schools, Opinion Out Loud, Religious education

Children in class

Will the government protect the ethos of secular schools?

Posted: Tue, 13 Jul 2021 by Alastair Lichten

The Department for Education's protections for the secular community ethos of non-faith academies are inadequate. This enables a consolidation of religious control and undermines accountability, argues Alastair Lichten. Read More »

Tags: Education, academisation

Children in class

Schools must be supported against religious bullies

Posted: Wed, 07 Jul 2021 by Alastair Lichten

Comments from Ofsted's chief inspector highlight the need to help schools resist efforts to shut down teaching which reactionary religious groups deem controversial, says Alastair Lichten. Read More »

Tags: Education, LGBT rights, RSE, Religious education

FE college

The Church of England’s offensive in FE colleges must be resisted

Posted: Mon, 05 Jul 2021 by Keith Sharpe and Chris Higgins

C of E proposals to increase its influence in FE colleges have little to do with education and more to do with reversing its declining numbers among young people, say Chris Higgins and Keith Sharpe. Read More »

Tags: Education, Further education

St Mary's University Twickenham

The expansion of Catholic influence at St Mary’s University threatens academic freedom

Posted: Fri, 18 Jun 2021 by Keith Sharpe

A pro-vice chancellor's remarks suggest the governance of St Mary's University, Twickenham is heading in an inappropriate direction. This shows the need to oppose religious control of universities, says Keith Sharpe. Read More »

Tags: Education, Universities

Teenager in class

Requires improvement: Ofsted review shows need for a major rethink on RE

Posted: Wed, 02 Jun 2021 by Alastair Lichten

A review has highlighted significant problems with the way RE is taught. Alastair Lichten argues that it shows the need to ask fundamental questions about the purpose of education about religion. Read More »

Tags: Education, Religious education

Children in class

Is the C of E ashamed of discrimination in school admissions?

Posted: Fri, 28 May 2021 by Alastair Lichten

Research suggests the Church of England downplays the extent of religious discrimination in admissions to the schools it runs. Its embarrassment shows the need to end this practice, says Alastair Lichten. Read More »

Tags: Admissions, Discrimination, Education, Faith Schools

Batley Grammar School

The outcome of the Batley investigation is a surrender of liberal principles

Posted: Thu, 27 May 2021 by Stephen Evans

As an investigation into the Batley Grammar affair concludes, Stephen Evans says we should recognise the censorious precedent it has set. Read More »

Tags: Education, Freedom of Expression

Upset teenage girl

Parents’ religious wishes must not trump children’s safety and education

Posted: Thu, 20 May 2021 by Megan Manson

Every child has been withdrawn from sex education classes at an independent faith school. Megan Manson says the parental right of withdrawal is incompatible with children's right to an education that keeps them safe. Read More »

Tags: Education, Opinion Out Loud, RSE

Grotesque at Chester Cathedral

Faith universities are an anachronism

Posted: Fri, 14 May 2021 by Keith Sharpe

Churches continue to manage and govern several universities in the UK, enabling discrimination and creating tension between universities' academic purpose and the interests of those who control them, says Keith Sharpe. Read More »

Tags: Education, Universities

Batley Grammar School protesters

The DfE must show leadership when religious hardliners turn on schools

Posted: Thu, 06 May 2021 by Stephen Evans

The start of an investigation into the Batley Grammar affair raises questions over the government's willingness to ensure assertive religious voices don't dictate what happens in classrooms, says Stephen Evans. Read More »

Tags: Education, Freedom of Expression, Opinion Out Loud

Religiosity inspections National Secular Society report

Faith groups have no business inspecting schools

Posted: Fri, 30 Apr 2021 by Stephen Evans

Publicly funded school inspections which enable clerics to exert undue influence should have no place in a modern education system, argues Stephen Evans. Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, Inspections

Catholic priest

Regressive religious demands shouldn't hold sway over political decisions

Posted: Thu, 15 Apr 2021 by Stephen Evans

Much of a pre-election letter from Scotland's Catholic bishops highlights the risks of allowing religious dogma to dictate public policy, says Stephen Evans. Read More »

Tags: Abortion, Assisted dying, Catholic Church, Education, Election, Scotland

Coats on pegs primary school

We must find the political will to end discriminatory school admissions

Posted: Mon, 12 Apr 2021 by Alastair Lichten

As families in England prepare to find out which primary schools their children will attend, Alastair Lichten says ending faith-based discrimination would make the admissions system fairer and simpler. Read More »

Tags: Discrimination, Education, Faith Schools, admissions

Children in class

If Scotland wants to uphold children’s rights, its schools need to change

Posted: Thu, 08 Apr 2021 by Megan Manson

After the Scottish parliament's decision to sign a charter for children's rights into law, Megan Manson says parties in the upcoming election should challenge religious groups' privileged influence over education policy. Read More »

Tags: Children's rights, Education, Scotland

Batley Grammar School

A lesson in blasphemy

Posted: Fri, 26 Mar 2021 by Stephen Evans

After a teacher was suspended for showing cartoons of Muhammad in class, NSS CEO Stephen Evans says we shouldn't accept a religious veto on critical enquiry in the classroom. Read More »

Tags: Education, Freedom of Expression

Welsh Senedd

Ending compulsory worship in schools should be next on the agenda for Wales

Posted: Tue, 16 Mar 2021 by Alastair Lichten

Following major curriculum reforms in Wales, Alastair Lichten argues that the Senedd should now turn its attention to ending the collective worship requirement in schools. Read More »

Tags: Collective Worship, Education, Wales

School sign

Faith-based school admissions pave the way for sexist and unreasonable demands. It’s time to end them

Posted: Fri, 05 Mar 2021 by Megan Manson

An adjudicator's ruling has exposed the outrageous requirements a state-funded faith school places on pupils and their families. This shows the need to end faith-based discrimination in admissions, says Megan Manson. Read More »

Tags: Admissions, Education, Faith Schools

Boy walking to school

Joint campuses are a cop out in efforts to tackle sectarianism

Posted: Wed, 03 Mar 2021 by Neil Barber

As the Scottish government confirms funding for a new joint campus between a non-denominational school and a Catholic one, Neil Barber says ministers should instead seek a unified, secular education system. Read More »

Tags: Education, Scotland, Sectarianism

Northern Ireland education review inclusion children at school

NI’s education review is a golden chance to take a stand for inclusion

Posted: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 by Alastair Lichten

Alastair Lichten says a review of education provision in Northern Ireland must be willing to challenge entrenched religious interests to deliver on ambitions for a more efficient and inclusive system. Read More »

Tags: Education, Northern Ireland

Children at school faith schools

The evidence against faith schools is overwhelming

Posted: Tue, 23 Feb 2021 by Steven Kettell and Rebecca Vernon

A comprehensive new bank of academic research shows how shaky the main arguments for faith schools are, say its authors Steven Kettell and Rebecca Vernon. Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools

Charlie Hebdo cartoon

"Being offended is the price we pay for living in a free society": NSS CEO talks to Charlie Hebdo

Posted: Thu, 14 Jan 2021 by Charlie Hebdo

NSS chief executive Stephen Evans was interviewed in a recent edition of Charlie Hebdo which marked six years since the attack on its staff. The interview is reproduced here in English. Read More »

Tags: Education, Freedom of Expression

Understanding Christianity and the study of religion and worldviews

RE shouldn’t be a vehicle for the Church of England’s interests

Posted: Thu, 17 Dec 2020 by Chris Selway

A new study of a widely-used set of RE resources illustrates the way powerful groups control the subject to accommodate the evangelical mission of the Church of England, says Chris Selway. Read More »

Tags: Education, Religious education