I wholeheartedly support the No More Faith Schools campaign. Education should level the playing field despite background and give access to the latest advances in science and human progress and encourage freethought and inquiry whilst religion contradicts and/or discourages all of the above. Children are not extensions of their parents but individuals with human rights. Why must they be divided and segregated based on their parents’ beliefs when no such divisions are acceptable when it comes to parents’ race, sexuality or political opinions. An end to faith schools would mean that we finally see our children as citizens and not as the property of their parents and that we as a society value them more than any faith or belief.
Maryam Namazie, Human rights campaigner
I support this campaign. There is too much segregation in life. As we live together so we grow through sharing and understanding not by reinforcing a faith or belief or one set of values. Children from all faith and belief backgrounds should be educated together and allowed to develop their own beliefs independently and within the rich communities in which we all have to live.
Lord Cashman CBE
Faith schools contribute to the fragmentation of our education system and the religious segregation of pupils. This is not conducive to social integration, cohesion and equal opportunities for all. That's why I'm supporting the 'No more faith schools' campaign. I want to see an education system that is free from religious control and that brings together pupils from all backgrounds and beliefs.
Peter Tatchell, Human rights campaigner
The societal division of state education can hardly be said to be in the wider public interest.
Crispin Blunt, Conservative MP
I support the National Secular Society’s campaign to end the segregation and discrimination in our state schools. The idea that we should be segregating children based on the religious beliefs of their parents is wrong, outdated and damaging to our society. It is extraordinary that, in 21st century Britain, we should allow taxpayers’ money to be spent on state schools that discriminate against children based, not on their ability or need or where they live, but simply on their parents’ religious beliefs. While many parents believe faith schools are better than other schools, the evidence is clear that this is simply not true. Only faith schools that use faith as a way to select more academic pupils by the back door get better results. Faith schools serve no purpose other than to divide our children and our communities and they should be consigned to the rubbish bin of history.
Julia Hartley-Brewer, Broadcaster and journalist
In South-West Scotland, where I was educated, faith education (RC especially) is practically universal. There is repeated, heated opposition by clerics and primates to any form of amalgamation of faith and non-faith schools, so that practically none such exists. The outcome of this is religious bigotry and sectarian enmity, well into adult life in many cases, often life-long.
I am pagan and have pagan friends that live in the affected areas. Please do not scrap the cap. I can only imagine how many families it may negatively affect. Getting rid of this cap will only divide the people of your country in terrible ways.
My children are forced to pray and sing to a god that we don't believe in. We have no alternative school near enough for us to walk to, so we have no choice but to attend.
Our society is becoming increasingly non-religious. Given many schools are 'oversubscribed' during each admission period, many parents are forced to rely on a local school being able to take their children. Selecting which children can attend the school based on their religion discriminates against an increasing proportion of society. It wouldn't be allowed in a workplace, why allow it in a school?
I don't understand why the government encourages dividing our children and creating segregation along religious lines. We should be working towards a fairer, more cohesive society instead of a society that promotes separatism, which leads to a lack of understanding of others outside of the faith which our children have been given by their parents.
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