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MPs debate inquiry into assisted dying as humanist MPs show support

MPs have debated proposals calling for an independent inquiry into the UK’s prohibitive law on assisted dying. Humanists UK welcomed the Commons debate, briefing members of the All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group (APPHG) ahead of the debate. Introducing the Westminster Hall debate, Christine Jardine MP called upon the Secretary of State for Justice to initiate an […]

40% of independent faith schools fail to meet Ofsted standards with Steiner schools also failing badly

Independent faith schools are struggling to meet Ofsted standards with 40% receiving ratings of ‘inadequate’ or ‘requires improvement’, according to new Ofsted findings. In its latest report, the schools watchdog Ofsted said independent faith schools ‘have considerably weaker inspection outcomes’ than those without a religious character. Ofsted found 40% of non-association independent faith schools – […]

‘No real progress’ made on illegal schools as Ofsted expresses frustration at ‘lack of regulatory teeth’

Hackney Council has said ‘no real progress’ has been made on the issue of so-called illegal schools in the borough despite the launch of an Unregistered Educational Settings (UES) strategy over two years ago. The Council blamed the lack of any laws to allow them to close the schools, and its statement came as Ofsted […]

Inclusive education for all: an interview with Humanists UK Education Campaigns Manager Dr Ruth Wareham

Dr Ruth Wareham is Humanists UK’s Education Campaigns Manager, leading our national campaign for an open, inclusive education for all. We spoke to Ruth about state-funded faith schools, and the segregation, division, and discrimination they engender. The campaign points out that faith schools are responsible for promoting social division and disadvantaging poorer families. But how […]

Ireland becomes eighth country to abolish blasphemy laws since 2015

On Saturday, blasphemy ceased to be a criminal offence in the Republic of Ireland. Humanists UK welcomed the new legislation repealing the law finally coming into effect and urged the governments of Scotland and Northern Ireland to now do likewise and repeal their countries’ blasphemy laws. The new law in Ireland follows 65% of the […]

Wales to scrap right to withdraw from RE and RSE, rename RE to ‘Religion, Values and Ethics’

The Welsh Government has today announced the outcome of its consultation on religious education (RE) and relationships and sexuality education (RSE). In summary: The right to withdraw from RE is to be scrapped, including in faith schools. Wales Humanists believes this change will lead to pupils being indoctrinated against their or their parents’ wishes and […]

More than 100 suspected illegal religious schools investigated by Ofsted since 2016

The school inspectorate Ofsted has investigated more than 100 suspected illegal faith schools since establishing its Unregistered Schools Team in 2016, according to new figures published this week. Humanists UK – which has led the campaign against illegal, unregistered schools for many years and was responsible for much of the work that prompted the creation […]

First new Government-funded Catholic school in over ten years to get green light to open

Peterborough City Council has indicated it will approve a proposal for a new Roman Catholic school that will be legally permitted to select up to 100% of its pupils on grounds of faith when it opens in 2022. The school will be the first voluntary aided (VA) school to be approved to open under a […]

Prayers stop access to Commons seats, protests Parliamentary Humanist Group Chair

Crispin Blunt MP, the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group, has protested in the House of Commons today about the unfair process of obtaining a seat for prime minister’s questions if an MP chooses not to attend prayers. Humanists UK welcomed the intervention and called for the process of selecting MPs’ seats to be […]

Disappointment as Welsh Government refuses to act on collective worship during current Assembly term

Wales Humanists has expressed its disappointment over the Welsh Government’s announcement that it will take no action to amend the law on compulsory collective worship during the current Assembly term. In a statement to the Senedd Petitions Committee, the Welsh Minister for Education Kirsty Williams said that the issue is ‘highly complex’ and any decision […]

Non-religious pastoral carers enter Northern Ireland prison for the first time

Non-religious pastoral carers have entered a Northern Ireland prison for the first time, clocking up more than 100 humanist pastoral care visits to non-religious prisoners in the first six months of the programme. Earlier this year, Northern Ireland Humanists, which is part of Humanists UK, recruited two trained non-religious pastoral carers and supported them to […]

Humanists UK welcomes abortion cost compensation for Northern Ireland women

A mother and daughter from Northern Ireland who were forced to travel to England for an abortion will receive compensation from the UK Government, after a settlement between the parties was agreed by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). Humanists UK intervened in support of the appellants when this case was heard before the […]

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