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
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
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 The idea that we should be segregating children based on the religious beliefs of their parents is wrong, outdated and damaging to our society.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
The societal division of state education can hardly be said to be in the wider public interest.
Crispin Blunt, Conservative MP
I am a political secularist - I believe the State should adopt a level playing field when it comes to religious belief. Even many religious people now recognise that the State funding of religious schools involves giving special privileges to religious communities that are not afforded to the rest of us. This is unjust, anti-democratic, and should stop.
Stephen Law, Philosopher and author.
Our society is increasingly non-religious but those who practice a religion are becoming more and more polarised. Educating children separately, based on their parents' beliefs, only encourages this. And the majority in our society, the non-believers, are offered a restricted choice of schools, thus discriminating against them.
As a parent of a child in a school which is currently at risk of loosing its secular status for the sake of a lease agreement in a proposed merger I want to see faith based admissions taken to zero. There should be no religious discrimination in the education system. Everyone should be welcome.
Louise, Great Yarmouth
If we want ALL our children to grow up in a cohesive and respectful society free from prejudice and a ghetto mentality, faith schools will not achieve that aim. It is for parents and their church leaders to bring their children up in their chosen faith, the state should not fund faith schools.
We are trying to raise our child to understand that the freedom to follow a religion, or to follow no religion, is a fundamental tenet of life in the UK. It is the mixing of beliefs and no beliefs that leads to an integrated and tolerant society. There is no better place for this than school. Our children will be deprived of exposure to people from a range of backgrounds and who hold a range of beliefs - this will not lead to integration but quite the opposite.
Attending a faith school means that children and their families are likely to interact and socialise with those of the same religion which makes for a segregated society. If our children to grow up compassionate and understanding of others they need to mix with children and teachers of different backgrounds and religions. Dividing our society into faith groups from a young age is setting a time bomb for the future.
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