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: Thu, 09 Mar 2017 by Stephen Evans
The Government's proposals on Relationships and Sex Education are a welcome step in the right direction – but religious opt outs mean many children will continue to be left behind, writes Stephen Evans.
The Government's move to make Relationships and... Read More »
Posted: Tue, 07 Mar 2017 by Benjamin Jones
Both the Government and the Labour Party have wilful blind spots around faith schools, and as the Government looks set to launch a new wave of faith schools amid an education funding crisis, how can such an inefficient system be justified?
The Prime Minister... Read More »
Posted: Thu, 12 Jan 2017 by Stephen Evans
Political sensitivity about faith schools is getting in the way of providing evidence-based, age-appropriate sex and relationships education (SRE) to all children. We can't wait forever for the Government's proposals on SRE, writes Stephen Evans.
The latest... Read More »
Posted: Sat, 07 Jan 2017 by Alistair McBay
There are success stories and failures in schools of all types, including faith schools, despite what the churches would have people believe. NSS vice president Alistair McBay debunks the myth that 'faith school' is a byword for success.
2016 was another interesting... Read More »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
Posted: Wed, 06 Jul 2016 by Alastair Lichten
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
Posted: Fri, 04 Dec 2015 by Alastair Lichten
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
Posted: Fri, 31 Jul 2015 by Stephen Evans
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »