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Bill to ban ‘gay conversion therapy’ passes first stage in Parliament

Yesterday, the Counsellors and Psychotherapists (Regulation) and Conversion Therapy Bill passed its first reading in the House of Commons. The Bill, which was introduced by Labour MP Geraint Davies, would legally ban all therapies aimed at converting a person from a gay to a hetrosexual orientation, whether this takes place in a medical setting or […]

Community school forced to adopt religious character after legal challenge to school merger is dismissed by High Court

A school without a religious character is set to be merged with a Christian school after a legal bid by local parents to block the merger was dismissed at the High Court. The decision means that Trafalgar College is now set to acquire the Christian ethos of Great Yarmouth Charter Academy, leaving parents with little […]

Young people in England given right over sex education opt out, but new RSE guidance opens door to religious influence

As part of its package of reforms around Relationships and Sex Education in English schools, being announced today, the UK Government has announced that it will essentially give young people the right to make their own decision about opting out from sex education, once they are mature enough to make their own mind up on the […]

Government announces compulsory education about health in English schools

Education about mental and physical health will become compulsory in all English schools, the Department for Education (DfE) has announced. In a press release issued today, Secretary of State for Education Damian Hinds MP said that ‘good physical and mental health is at the heart of ensuring young people are ready for the adult world’, […]

Humanists UK’s new online course on humanism is a massive success

Sign up for our free online course at www.futurelearn.com/courses/introducing-humanism. The next run will begin on 23 July. Earlier this year, Humanists UK launched the world’s first massive open online course (MOOC) on humanism: Introducing humanism: non-religious approaches to life. The response has been phenomenal. Over 10,000 people from 120 different countries signed up for the […]

Major new report ‘timid’ in proposals to reform the place of religion in schools

Humanists UK has described as ‘timid’ a new report, published today, on the future place of religion in the education system. The report, published by Professor Linda Woodhead and former Education Secretary Charles Clarke, makes a series of recommendations aimed at reforming the 70-year-old settlement between religion and schools in England. In effect, however, other […]

Lancashire Council votes for ban on non-stunned meat in schools

Lancashire County Council has voted for a second time to remove non-stunned meat products from its schools. The vote, which took place this afternoon, means that 27 schools catering to 12,000 pupils will now switch from serving meat from animals that were not stunned prior to slaughter to other sources. Humanists UK, which campaigned in […]

Faith school admissions benefit affluent families and are too complex says new study

Some faith schools inherently favour both more strictly religious families and more privileged families through the use of overly complicated and burdensome admissions policies, a new study has found. The research, conducted by Professors Mairi Levitt and Linda Woodhead at Lancaster University, used Leicester’s diverse school system to examine the issues with the current school […]

Teachers learn about humanism

Yesterday over seventy teachers attended Humanists UK’s Understanding Humanism Teachers Conference at Conway Hall. The conference provided primary and secondary teachers with an opportunity to broaden their subject knowledge about both humanism and secularism, and to learn, share, and discuss ideas for teaching about them in the classroom. The conference was bookended with keynote speeches […]

Humanists celebrate tenth anniversary of abolition of blasphemy in England and Wales

On 8 July 2008, section 79 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act came into force, abolishing the criminal offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel in England and Wales. This was a massive victory for Humanists UK, which had campaigned against the blasphemy laws for over a century, and worked in support of the amendment […]

Church of England proposes to pass law to override bankruptcy claims against its dioceses

The Church of England is considering passing a new law which would prevent secular judges from being able to order the sale of a cathedral as part of bankruptcy procedures, at a meeting of the General Synod in York next week. Several of the Church of England’s 42 cathedrals have fallen into financial difficulties in […]

Government commits to banning ‘conversion therapy’ and other major LGBT protections in action plan

The Government has announced that it will bring forward proposals to end the practice of ‘conversion therapy’, including where it occurs in religious settings, as part of its LGBT Action Plan launched today. Humanists UK, which has repeatedly called for such a ban, including at the UN Human Rights Council in June, has welcomed this […]

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