Tags: Education

Clerics shouldn’t be the gatekeepers to publicly funded schools

Clerics shouldn’t be the gatekeepers to publicly funded schools

Posted: Fri, 25 Nov 2016 by Stephen Evans

A progressive education policy would seek to break down barriers between people of different faiths and beliefs, not erect them, writes NSS campaigns director Stephen Evans.

The schools adjudicator recently ruled against a new policy across all Catholic schools... Read More »

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

Inclusive education: divisive faith schools are the elephant in the room

Inclusive education: divisive faith schools are the elephant in the room

Posted: Fri, 30 Sep 2016 by Stephen Evans

NSS campaigns director on why progressives of all political and religious stripes should unite in opposing Theresa May's plan to open a new wave of divisive 'faith schools'

As an advocate for secular education, my hopes were raised momentarily this week when... Read More »

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

Facilitating more religious segregation in faith schools can only harm social cohesion

Facilitating more religious segregation in faith schools can only harm social cohesion

Posted: Mon, 12 Sep 2016 by Stephen Evans

In a move devoid of any common sense, Theresa May's government looks set to capitulate to the demands of religious groups by relaxing admissions rules for faith-based academies, allowing them to select all pupils along religious lines.

It's hard to think of... Read More »

Tags: Education, admissions, Fifty percent cap

Governor’s perspective: beware an increasingly assertive religious ethos in ‘Church schools’

Governor’s perspective: beware an increasingly assertive religious ethos in ‘Church schools’

Posted: Tue, 16 Aug 2016 by A Governor

The NSS is regularly contacted by governors and staff at Church of England schools who are pressured by their diocese to promote a more rigorous 'Christian ethos' - whether or not it's suitable for their school community. Here's one governor's account of increasing... Read More »

Tags: Education, Church of England, Faith Schools, Parents Perspective

What do pupils need to know about religion?

What do pupils need to know about religion?

Posted: Tue, 02 Aug 2016 by Stephen Evans

In recent years faith communities have amplified their demands for a better understanding of religion in the private and public sector. But what do pupils need to know about religion by the time they leave school?

In recent years faith communities have amplified... Read More »

Tags: Education, Religious education

When is a community school not a community school?

When is a community school not a community school?

Posted: Wed, 06 Jul 2016 by Alastair Lichten

Religious organisations are pushing for an increased role in non-religious community schools. This seriously risks blurring the line between faith and community schools, writes Alastair Lichten.

I've asked before "When is a faith school not a faith school?... Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, Church of England, Academisation

Faith schools add to the angst of school offer day

Faith schools add to the angst of school offer day

Posted: Mon, 18 Apr 2016 by Stephen Evans

National Offer Day is when many parents fall victim to religious discrimination or discover they've been allocated a religious school against their wishes. Stephen Evans argues that a move towards a secular education system might make school offer day a little... Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, admissions

The surprising origin of Collective Worship in schools

The surprising origin of Collective Worship in schools

Posted: Thu, 10 Mar 2016 by Ed Moore

Collective worship has its history in a murky compromise between politicians and the church dating back to the Second World War – and it is long since time the arcane requirement was removed, writes Ed Moore.

There is a growing consensus among educators,... Read More »

Tags: Education, Collective Worship, Church of England, History

Classrooms should be free from an overbearing religious ethos

Classrooms should be free from an overbearing religious ethos

Posted: Mon, 15 Feb 2016 by Stephen Evans

With the Church seeking to extend its influence over the management of schools, Stephen Evans argues that religious groups' demands shouldn't outweigh parental rights and children's independent interests.

In 2013 the former chair of the Church of England's... Read More »

Tags: Faith Schools, Education

The niqab in schools: An argument for prohibition

The niqab in schools: An argument for prohibition

Posted: Thu, 04 Feb 2016 by Sadikur Rahman

Sadikur Rahman argues that the case for banning full face veils in schools extends far beyond whether or not they present a barrier to learning.

The niqab, or full-face veil, is once again in the news after the chief inspector of schools, Sir Michael Wilshaw,... Read More »

Tags: Education, Islam, Niqab

Religious education reform: mistakes of the past must be avoided

Religious education reform: mistakes of the past must be avoided

Posted: Fri, 04 Dec 2015 by Alastair Lichten

Despite many RE teachers doing their best under difficult circumstances, a growing consensus now recognises that religious education in schools needs a rethink. Alastair Lichten looks at the latest report calling for reform.

This week saw the launch of REforReal... Read More »

Tags: Education, Religious education

God “is the man who saves people” – a parent discovers what Religious Observance in school has taught their child

God “is the man who saves people” – a parent discovers what Religious Observance in school has taught their child

Posted: Wed, 14 Oct 2015 by A Parent

A parent writes of their shock at discovering Religious Observance in the non-denominational Scottish school attended by their daughter, and gives their perspective on the problems caused by archaic Religious Observance rules in Scottish schools.

Towards the... Read More »

Tags: Education, Collective Worship, Scotland, Parents Perspective

A parent’s perspective: collective worship and evangelism in schools

A parent’s perspective: collective worship and evangelism in schools

Posted: Thu, 17 Sep 2015 by A Parent

Even where parents have the option of a community school, securing a secular education can be difficult. One parent offers their perspective on negotiating appropriate boundaries which respect children's rights to form their own beliefs.

My support for secular... Read More »

Tags: Education, Collective Worship, Parents Perspective, evangelism in schools

Let Ofsted inspect religious education in faith schools

Let Ofsted inspect religious education in faith schools

Posted: Wed, 09 Sep 2015 by Stephen Evans

Religious education should receive the same scrutiny as any other area of the curriculum – and be inspected by Ofsted, argues Stephen Evans.

I recently came across a local newspaper headline about a school being praised for its religious education. As... Read More »

Tags: Education, Religious education, Faith Schools

Students forced to lead prayers and made to attend Mass – the reality of faith schools for non-religious pupils

Students forced to lead prayers and made to attend Mass – the reality of faith schools for non-religious pupils

Posted: Thu, 03 Sep 2015 by A Pupil

A Sixth Former gives a student's account of what it's like to attend a faith school if you aren't religious, and shows the reality of some faith schools for pupils who don't share the school's enthusiasm for religion.

One might be forgiven for thinking that... Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, student

Christians shouldn’t put self-interest above Britain’s need to better integrate

Christians shouldn’t put self-interest above Britain’s need to better integrate

Posted: Fri, 31 Jul 2015 by Stephen Evans

The long history of Christian involvement in state education shouldn't stand in the way of a more integrated education system, argues Stephen Evans.

No sooner had David Cameron finished delivering his landmark speech on extremism which stressed the need for... Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools

Why have I never taught a Jewish child?

Why have I never taught a Jewish child?

Posted: Tue, 14 Jul 2015 by Dennis O’Sullivan

Is this the way to unite society – with faith schools teaching the supremacy of their ideology and how wrong the rest of us are, asks Dennis O'Sullivan, a headteacher with thirty-five years of experience in education.

Teaching British Values is now compulsory... Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools

When is a faith school not a faith school?

When is a faith school not a faith school?

Posted: Wed, 08 Jul 2015 by Alastair Lichten

Academisation and the 'grey area' between faith and non-religious schools may allow even more schools to assume a religious character by stealth. To avoid this, we need a much clearer definition of 'faith school', argues Alastair Lichten.

The 1944 Education... Read More »

Tags: Education, Academisation

Academics call for greater sensitivity about religion in universities, but students suggest it’s not an issue

Academics call for greater sensitivity about religion in universities, but students suggest it’s not an issue

Posted: Fri, 19 Jun 2015 by National Secular Society

Some academics are giving undue prominence to religion and religious students- when the evidence shows they are exaggerating the scale of the 'problem' they describe.

Tariq Modood, professor of sociology at the University of Bristol, and Professor Craig Calhoun,... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Education, Religion & Belief, Community Cohesion, Universities, Statistics

Faith schools: education’s sacred cow

Faith schools: education’s sacred cow

Posted: Fri, 19 Jun 2015 by Stephen Evans

Faith-based schools have been part of Britain's educational landscape for a long time. But as Britain's religious outlook changes, the time has come for some people to come to terms with their fear or unwillingness to question them, argues Stephen Evans.

Britain's... Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools

Academic claims university atheists are “militant”

Academic claims university atheists are “militant”

Posted: Thu, 18 Jun 2015 by Benjamin Jones

A paper published by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education has claimed that atheists can be "militant" on university campuses, while describing religion as a "public good" and the exclusion of religion from the public sphere as "repressive."

Professor... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Education

Don’t ban women drivers – ban faith schools

Don’t ban women drivers – ban faith schools

Posted: Sat, 30 May 2015 by Oliver Kamm

In a pluralist and diverse society, it's an invitation to ignorance for children to be segregated by their parent's religious affiliation – so why, asks Oliver Kamm, is the state entrusting the education of huge numbers of children to religious bodies?... Read More »

Tags: Education, Faith Schools

A very confused and immoderate Moderator

A very confused and immoderate Moderator

Posted: Wed, 20 May 2015 by Alistair McBay

Alistair McBay examines the confused and immoderate arguments of the new Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland.

The Reverend David Robertson of the Free Church of Scotland has now taken up the mantle of the church's Moderator.

First of all, it would be churlish... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Scotland, Education

It should be politically impossible for universities to enforce blasphemy laws

It should be politically impossible for universities to enforce blasphemy laws

Posted: Thu, 30 Apr 2015 by Benjamin Jones

It should be politically toxic, publicly excruciating, there should be protests, and mass disruption to campuses when universities censor blasphemy. Where is the outrage?

The censors and reactionaries are at it again. The most recent case came from Bath. A... Read More »

Tags: Education, Blasphemy, Freedom of Expression

Allowing children to languish in illegal religious 'schools' is the bigotry of low expectations

Allowing children to languish in illegal religious 'schools' is the bigotry of low expectations

Posted: Wed, 22 Apr 2015 by Stephen Evans

NSS campaigns manager Stephen Evans warns that growing numbers of unregulated religious 'schools' are badly letting children down, and argues that the rights of children to education should be prioritised.

This week it was revealed that officials at the Department... Read More »

Tags: Education, unregistered schools