Collectively we have an obligation to provide children with equal access to education, for that to be as inclusive as possible it needs to be secular. In a world marked by so many divisions it is important we protect our education system as something free from religious prejudice.
Lloyd Russell-Moyle, Labour MP
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
State-sponsored superstition should have no place in the education of children, who should be left to make up their own minds on the basis of the evidence they see around them. Education should inspire rational thought and display the pleasures of deep understanding; it should not propagate the social poison of divisive dogma.
Peter Atkins, Writer and former Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oxford
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
Tax-payer funded schools discriminating against parents and their children for not obeying a set of conditions dictated by the leaders of organised religions is both abhorrent and unfair. All state funding for such schools should be withdrawn.
A Supporter, Warrington
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
Like alot of our friends of our generation alot of us are of atheist or more spiritual than religious, yet when my daughter came of school age there was no local schools within a reasonable distance to send my daughter that are not religious. all 3 of the schools locally are CofE, so we opted to send her to our most local which is the main school for our town, but after attending a few school assemblys felt even more sick about sending here there but we have no choice as we are not a well off family, but the way they brainwash children about 'god' i even had my daughter call me a liar for not believing that Jesus is the son of god. i don't mind children being taught about faith, and the more different cultures and religions the better so they are more understanding and embracing, but also the way they are taught about other faiths as a us and them way deeply troubles me.
Lana, Newton Abbot
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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