Tags: Education

School sign

Education in NI shouldn’t be a tug of war between religious interests

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 »

Tags: Education, Northern Ireland

Department for Education

Anti-RSE campaigns: guidance is welcome, but schools need more support

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 »

Tags: Education, RSE

Remove religious reps

Religious reps’ influence over education is an affront to democracy

Posted: Tue, 27 Aug 2019 by Neil Barber

An NSS report has called for an end to religious appointees on council education committees in Scotland. Neil Barber says it's long past time for these positions to go. Read More »

Tags: Religious reps, Scotland, Education

Child praying

The government must respond to pressure to end compulsory school worship

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 »

Tags: Collective worship, Education, statistics

No Outsiders

‘No Outsiders’ offers a vision of tolerance and equality

Posted: Wed, 31 Jul 2019 by Megan Manson

The current wave of religious protests outside schools began with objections to the No Outsiders scheme of work. As its author prepares to give the NSS's Bradlaugh Lecture, Megan Manson asks what the fuss was about. Read More »

Tags: RSE, Education, LGBTQ rights

Classroom

The new education secretary must resist the reactionary campaign against RSE

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 »

Tags: RSE, Education, LGBTQ rights

Same-sex relationship

Why are we letting faith schools stigmatise same-sex relationships?

Posted: Thu, 11 Jul 2019 by Megan Manson

Ofsted penalises schools that refuse to teach about LGBT people, but seems to ignore other schools that teach same-sex relationships are morally wrong. Megan Manson says this double standard needs to end. Read More »

Tags: RSE, Faith schools, Education

Transgender and intersex

What might Catholic schools teach about transgender and intersex people?

Posted: Fri, 14 Jun 2019 by Megan Manson

Megan Manson examines a new document outlining the Catholic Church's position on issues relating to sex and gender, and explains how this may lead to conflict in Catholic Schools. Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, RSE, Catholic Church

Sexual freedom and secularism have always gone hand in hand

Sexual freedom and secularism have always gone hand in hand

Posted: Fri, 07 Jun 2019 by Stephen Evans

Stephen Evans says religious concerns weren't a good reason to restrict understanding of birth control in Victorian England and they aren't a good reason to undermine relationships and sex education today. Read More »

Tags: Education, Equality & Human Rights, LGBTQ Rights

Gay couple holding hands

A message to anti-LGBT campaigners: There is no hierarchy of equality

Posted: Thu, 06 Jun 2019 by Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett

In modern Britain equality is protected and one person's protected characteristics can't be used to subjugate another. The sooner people from all faiths and none realise this the better, argues Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett. Read More »

Tags: RSE, Equality & Human Rights, LGBTQ rights, Education

Classroom

New guidance on independent schools: analysis of hard-line opposition and DfE concessions

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 »

Tags: Independent schools, Education

Classroom

The government should stand up to parents who want religious opt-outs

Posted: Wed, 27 Feb 2019 by Chris Sloggett

Giving ground to religious groups' individualistic demands for opt-outs from relationships & sex education undermines children's rights and teachers' ability to do their job, says Chris Sloggett. Read More »

Tags: Education, RSE, Children's rights & welfare

Faith schools protest

Integrated communities require inclusive, secular schools

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 »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, unregistered schools, Independent schools, admissions

Hand holding

Weaponised unreasonableness: father claims school standards violate his rights

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 »

Tags: Independent schools, Education, LGBTQ rights

Students should be free to excuse themselves from worship

Students should be free to excuse themselves from worship

Posted: Fri, 14 Dec 2018 by Stephen Evans

After two students pushed the Welsh government for a response to a petition to remove schools' obligation to hold acts of worship, Stephen Evans says pupils should be free to opt out of religious practices in schools. Read More »

Tags: Collective worship, Education

My children’s school has become Christian by default

My children’s school has become Christian by default

Posted: Fri, 14 Dec 2018 by Lee Harris

Lee Harris didn't choose a faith school for his children. But when he challenged evangelism at his local school, he learnt that community school status doesn't necessarily prevent religion from being imposed on children. Read More »

Tags: Education, Academisation, Collective worship

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, RSE, 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, RSE

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