The British Humanist Association (BHA) has today responded to the Government’s consultation on proposed new independent school standards. The standards, which all Academies, Free Schools and private schools will be required to follow, include requiring schools to ‘actively promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs’. Previously schools merely had to ‘encourage respect for’ those values. The BHA has broadly welcomed the changes.
In its response, the BHA has said the following:
In the last few months the BHA has also responded to consultations on barring extremists from working in schools, tightening up the rules around independent inspectorates (such as the Bridge Schools Inspectorate, which inspects Christian Schools’ Trust and Association of Muslim Schools schools, and the School Inspection Service, which inspects Exclusive Brethren and Steiner schools), and how the scheme of providing free nursery places is funded.
BHA Faith Schools Campaigner Richy Thompson commented, ‘These changes represent a significant and positive step in the right direction in terms of preventing extremism and ensuring equalities in private schools, Academies and Free Schools. More however must be done to ensure that every young person receives a full, comprehensive and unbiased scientific education, with no school teaching creationism or intelligent design as scientifically valid and yet still achieving good marks in its statutory inspection.’
For further comment or information, please contact Richy Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 020 7324 3072.
Read about the consultation: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/proposed-new-independent-school-standards
Read more about the BHA’s campaigns work on countering creationism: https://humanism.org.uk/campaigns/religion-and-schools/countering-creationism
Read more about the BHA’s campaigns work on ‘faith’ schools: https://humanism.org.uk/campaigns/schools-and-education/faith-schools/
The British Humanist Association is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. It promotes a secular state and equal treatment in law and policy of everyone, regardless of religion or belief.