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Department for Education research supports mixed schools over segregated schools

Pupils in ethnically mixed schools are more trusting and have more positive views of children from different backgrounds than do pupils in segregated schools, new Department for Education-commissioned research has revealed. Humanists UK has stated that the findings represent a further blow to Government plans to increase religious selection in the school admissions system. The […]

Government in rethink of fully segregated ‘faith’ schools proposal?

Ministers may be reconsidering controversial proposals to allow new state-funded religious schools to become fully segregated along religious lines, according to Ofsted Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman, who has stated that ‘admission 100% on faith leads to increased levels of segregation within communities’. Humanists UK, which campaigns in favour of fully inclusive schools and has been […]

Ofsted Chief Inspector demands new powers to tackle illegal religious schools

‘Weaknesses in current legislation’ are enabling illegal religious schools to stay open and ‘avoid proper scrutiny’ throughout England, according to Ofsted Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman. Whilst Ofsted continues to investigate schools suspected as operating illegally, many of which teach nothing but ‘religious texts full-time’, Spielman says that inspectors need more powers in order to ‘protect […]

South Africa outlaws promotion of any one religion in schools

A High Court judge in Johannesburg has outlawed state-funded single-faith schools in South Africa, following a human rights case brought by the Organisation for Religious Education and Democracy. The court found that it was unlawful for a public school to promote adherence to one particular religion, to the exclusion of others, or to hold that […]

Ireland sets example to UK Governments with plans to end religious selection by Catholic schools

The Irish Education Minister Richard Bruton has announced plans to remove the so-called ‘baptism barrier’ in Ireland, which currently allows Catholic schools to religiously discriminate in their admission policies and prioritise children from Catholic families. Humanists UK, which campaigns against religious selection by all state-funded schools, has welcomed the news and called on the UK […]

Fire safety breaches put lives of pupils in illegal religious schools at risk

Serious fire safety breaches recorded in illegal, unregistered religious schools may be placing thousands of children at significant risk, it has been revealed in Schools Week. Humanists UK believes that the findings only underline the need for the Government and local authorities to urgently shut such schools down. In the last three years, at least […]

LGBT-inclusive relationships and sex education not yet the norm in schools, new report finds

LGBT-related information about healthy relationships and safe sex is largely excluded from relationships and sex education (RSE) in Britain’s schools, a new report published by Stonewall has revealed. It is also worse in ‘faith’ schools than others. Stonewall’s School Report, which is produces once every five years, details the findings of a survey of nearly […]

Religious landgrab continues as Church tries to gain control of nine non-church schools

The Church of England is proposing to assume overall control of a multi-academy trust (MAT) in Northumberland despite only one of the nine schools in the proposed MAT having a religious character. In a letter to parents and carers seen by Humanists UK, plans are outlined for the creation of ‘The Tynedale Community Trust’, comprising […]

BHA and Young Humanists move to protect non-religious parents with guide on religion in schools

The British Humanist Association (BHA) and Young Humanists have published today a comprehensive guide for non-religious parents and young people, offering support and advice on how to navigate an education system increasingly subject to undue religious influence. The guide comes in the week that parents all over England discovered at which primary school their children […]

Government approves yet more religious free schools

A new wave of state ‘faith’ schools has been approved by the Government as part of its ongoing free schools programme. The British Humanist Association (BHA) has stressed once again that increasing the number of ‘faith’ schools can only lead to more segregation and more discrimination at a time when more efforts should be being […]

BHA: pastoral support in schools must not be hijacked by the Church

In an interview with the TES magazine last week, the Church of England’s chief education officer, Nigel Genders, stated that all schools, including non-church schools, would benefit from employing a chaplain as part of their pastoral support provision. The British Humanist Association (BHA), which provides a network of accredited non-religious pastoral carers in hospitals, hospices, […]

Schools opting for more inclusive assemblies over compulsory Christian worship

A number of schools have sought to free themselves from the requirement to hold daily Christian worship and provide more inclusive assemblies instead, a new investigation has revealed. The investigation, carried out by Schools Week, found that nearly 50 schools have sought exemptions to the collective worship requirement in the last 18 months, with many […]

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