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Catholic education chief expresses doubt over religious selection proposals

The Director of the Catholic Education Service (CES) Paul Barber has conceded that ‘the move back to schools of 100 per cent one faith is dreadful’, following the Government’s proposals to drop the 50% cap on religious selection in school admissions. The CES has long been the main voice calling for the 50% cap to […]

Call for safe access to abortions after woman charged

Northern Ireland Humanists has called for safe access to legal abortions and an end to prosecutions following news that a woman has been reported to police and charged in connection with using abortion pills after seeing medical help. Abortion is illegal in Northern Ireland except on grounds of health whereas women in England, Scotland and Wales […]

Humanists and religious groups join forces to demand religious education reforms for Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Humanists has organised an open letter to Northern Ireland Education Secretary Peter Weir calling for broad reforms of the current Religious Education (RE) core syllabus. Northern Ireland differs strongly from the rest of the UK in almost exclusively teaching about Christianity until the age of 16, with little mention of any world religions […]

Professor Maggie Smith to deliver the Darwin Day Lecture 2017 in Leeds

Molecular microbiologist Professor Maggie Smith will deliver the first Darwin Day Lecture organised by the British Humanist Association (BHA) in Leeds on 8 February 2017. Professor Smith, Chair of Microbiology at the University of York, will ask if the emerging threat of antibiotic resistance threatens to send us ‘back to the dark ages’. Antibiotics are […]

Owen Jones delivers the Holyoake Lecture 2016

Author and journalist Owen Jones delivered the Holyoake Lecture 2016 in Manchester last night, to a sell-out audience of over 400 people. In the lecture, introduced by Andrew Copson, Chief Executive of the British Humanist Association, Jones asked how we might move ‘towards a humanist politics’. Jones said the lecture was ‘a defence of humanist […]

Words of caution on freedom of religion or belief

While defending the human right to freedom of religion or belief, Andrew Copson, Chief Executive of the British Humanist Association, also offered a few words of caution, speaking at the Conference on Preventing Violent Extremism by building inclusive and plural societies: How Freedom of Religion or Belief can help, at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. […]

Professor Alice Roberts launches fundraising campaign to oppose ‘faith’ schools in 2017

Writer and broadcaster, Professor Alice Roberts, has today launched an appeal to pay for the salary and work of the faith schools campaigner dedicated to opposing ‘faith’ schools and the prevalence of religious discrimination in the education system. The fundraising campaign comes in the wake of the Church of England’s recent announcement to open more […]

Peers accuse Government of ‘playing with fire’ over plans for unlimited religious selection in schools

Members of the House of Lords have strongly criticised the Government’s plans to remove the 50% cap on religious selection in new English ‘faith’ schools, as part of a parliamentary debate about the Government’s new grammar schools proposals. Peers raised serious concerns about the Government’s new plans, first announced by the Prime Minister in September at the behest of the Catholic Church. […]

Roughly half of Scottish adults have no religion

Nearly 50% of adults in Scotland have no religion, according to the latest Scottish Household Survey (SHS), published by the Scottish Government. The 2015 survey found that 49.8% of adult Scots identified with no religion, up from 40% of the adult population when surveyed in 2009. The 2015 SHS report notes a corresponding decline in the number of adult Scots identifying as members […]

Humanists criticise UK’s record on protecting children’s rights

The UK must do more to protect the rights of children and young people, particularly in tackling religious discrimination in schools, correcting the ongoing lack of good-quality sex and relationships education, and decriminalising abortion in Northern Ireland and across the UK, the British Humanist Association (BHA) has told a parliamentary committee. The BHA drew particular […]

Call for buffer zones around abortion clinics as protesters’ tactics exposed

The British Humanist Association (BHA) has today called for the law to be changed to enable the creation of buffer zones around abortion clinics. The call comes in a joint letter in today’s Times organised by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) and signed by three royal colleges, and pro-choice, women’s rights, and sexual and […]

State-funded homeopathy no longer available in the North of England

Homeopathy is no longer available on the National Health Service for patients living in the North of England, following an announcement that the Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has chosen to defund the scientifically unsupported treatment. The result is that in England only NHS Trusts around Bristol and London continue funding homeopathy, and the Bristol trusts are […]