If we are aiming for an inclusive society, the fewer divisions we can impose on our growing children the better.
Virginia Ironside, Journalist, agony aunt and author
The societal division of state education can hardly be said to be in the wider public interest.
Crispin Blunt, Conservative MP
I am happy to join the No More Faith Schools campaign. Education must be secular.
Lord Desai, Economist and Labour politician
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 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.
In our increasingly diverse society, we need to foster an environment of understanding between our differing communities. If we do not allow our children to encounter people and ideas that are different to their own, they may well never come to understand that we all have some common values. By encouraging segregation for whatever reason, we create a them and us atmosphere that can only seriously limit any chance of social cohesion.
Carrie-Ann, Stoke Newington
It is a lie to call non denominational schools such, when they are clearly Church of Scotland inclined. A non denominational school does not require a linked church or named minister. In a nation where less than half the country identifies as religious, we do not need 'religious observance' to be a required element in any school. State funded schools are not an appropriate place for religious indoctrination.
The Scottish Secular Society strongly supports the NSS "No More Faith Schools" campaign. At a time when social cohesion is a matter of great concern, it is folly to increase the amount of separation between different faith communities by segregating children according to parental affiliation. In many parts of England, faith schools already dominate to the point where parents (and pupils) find themselves with no option other than schools whose religious identities they do not share. It is not the case that the specific ethos of faith schools is universally shared; if it were, they would not need to be labelled as distinct faith schools. In our diverse society, it is an imposition on taxpayers, half of whom do not even identify themselves as members of a religion, to be forced to subsidise the indoctrination of children with beliefs that they do not themselves subscribe to. Finally, problems have already arisen within schools of more than one religion because of the influence of extremist doctrines denying evolution, despite the fact that in England the importance of evolution is recognised in the curriculum from the primary level onwards. For all these reasons, we consider that the further expansion of faith schools will work against intellectual independence and good community relations, contrary to the interests of schoolchildren, and of the wider community of which they are part.
Professor Paul S. Braterman, Science adviser to Scottish Secular Society
I think it's a disgrace that my child's school is being closed down and that he is being forced into a religious school. I do not want organised religion rammed down my sons throat.
Natasha, Great Yarmouth
As a former headteacher of a Catholic comprehensive school in a deprived area of Liverpool I know how divisive faith schools can be in a local community. It seems to me that our society would be greatly enhanced by the abolition of all faith schools.
Parent’s perspective: My daughter has to take Catholic-centric RE – at the expense of other subjects
Posted: Wed, 04 Aug 2021 09:26
My daughter's Catholic school says RE is required for all students, undermining her choices elsewhere....
Posted: Fri, 04 Jun 2021 09:36
While faith based inspections of state schools continue, headteachers will continue to play a game which...
Head’s perspective: Church inspections impeded efforts to promote inclusivity and an honest education
Posted: Wed, 19 May 2021 10:33
Our local Church of England diocese used an anachronistic faith-based inspection regime to push its own...
Posted: Tue, 06 Apr 2021 15:06
After decades of experience as a headteacher and local adviser I became convinced that faith schools...
Parent’s perspective: Playing the faith school admissions game would teach my children the wrong lessons
Posted: Fri, 05 Feb 2021 08:42
Almost all the places at the school my daughter wants to attend are reserved on a religious basis. Jumping...
Posted: Thu, 26 Nov 2020 11:27
We were unprepared for how strongly a Catholic school would push religion on our child, says Natassa....
Posted: Fri, 23 Oct 2020 09:55
By giving special weight to RE, my son's C of E faith school has restricted his options elsewhere, says...
Posted: Thu, 08 Oct 2020 10:01
Local faith schools' selective policies have created an unseemly competition for places, leaving parents...
Posted: Thu, 18 Jun 2020 14:01
My family has been discriminated against on religious grounds – and our four-year-old hasn't been...
Posted: Fri, 01 Nov 2019 10:08
My son is struggling to reconcile his lack of religious belief with his school's Christian ethos, says...