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
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
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 happy to join the No More Faith Schools campaign. Education must be secular.
Lord Desai, Economist and Labour politician
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.
I am signing this petition because segregation on religious grounds is detrimental to society and to the individual child living in a multicultural society. I believe in a wholly secular education system. Children need to be taught to think critically and would benefit from learning philosophy in school, with religion being taught as part of that.
When I asked the local vicar, who is also a governor at my child's primary school why they still had a discriminatory admissions criterion he said "well how else are we going to get people into church", obviously more bothered about bums on seats in his church than treating local children equally. When I then asked the head why they the governing body had just voted to maintain the discriminatory denominational admissions criteria she said "it's not on my agenda and not up for discussion". I doubt either of these people would want their children, family or friends to be discriminated because of their beliefs yet they promote this when it comes to those not of their faith.
Where I live we have no choice - my kids have to go to a faith school which flaunts the rules and has told my kids that they 'will pray'.. What more do you need?
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.
Schools are for education not indoctrination. Faith is a personal matter and not one the state should fund. Forcing parents to follow a Faith that they may not agree with to get their children into their local school is not acceptable.
Share your Story
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...
Posted: Wed, 07 Aug 2019 10:46
I'm worried my children's freedom to make their own choices on religion will be undermined at a local...
Posted: Thu, 18 Jul 2019 17:03
Our homophobic Catholic school brainwashed young minds into feeling a deep sense of guilt just for being...
Posted: Thu, 11 Jul 2019 12:56
It's high time for parents to demand an end to religious groups' control of children's education, says...
Posted: Fri, 31 May 2019 11:20
Matthew is the governor at a Church of England school in Cornwall. He says those running the school have...
Posted: Mon, 15 Apr 2019 14:59
When Rachel applied for a teaching position at a state funded faith school, she found that non-Catholics...
Posted: Wed, 31 Oct 2018 16:17
Teachers have an obligation to broaden children's minds, says Robert Bradley. While secular education...
Posted: Wed, 08 Aug 2018 15:27
A parent from Harpenden in Hertfordshire on the difficulty facing non-religious families trying to find...
Posted: Wed, 13 Jun 2018 10:03
The increasingly assertive religious ethos of Church of England schools undermines the commonly-held...
Students forced to lead prayers and made to attend mass – the reality of faith schools for non-religious pupils
Posted: Wed, 13 Jun 2018 10:01
A Sixth Former gives a student's account of what it's like to attend a faith school if you aren't religious,...