The British Humanist Association (BHA) has today commented on the launch of a new global education programme from the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, ‘Face to Faith’.
Andrew Copson, BHA Director of Education and Public Affairs commented, ‘Given our own commitment to improving understanding and working with people with different beliefs, we support programmes that purport to encourage such dialogue and learning. However, it does seem that this programme may be exclusively for religious people, which would be a missed opportunity for real education about people from all different backgrounds, including non-religious young people throughout the world.’
‘In any case, it does seem ironic that the aims of this education programme to counter prejudice and tension and to increase awareness of people with different beliefs contradict the realities of British education policy during Mr Blair’s premiership. At that time, the government began to expand significantly the number of “faith schools”, while at the same time permitting them to discriminate widely in their admissions and employment on religious grounds, creating religious segregation of children and young people which we know contributes to social inequalities and damages community cohesion.’
For further comment or information, contact Andrew Copson on 020 7079 3584 or 07534 248596.
The British Humanist Association (BHA) is the national charity representing and supporting the non-religious, campaigning for an end to religious privilege and to discrimination based on religion or belief and is the largest organisation in the UK working for a secular society. In education, this means an end to the expansion of “faith schools” and for the assimilation of those that currently exist into a system of inclusive and accommodating community schools.