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
In today’s society, it is more important than ever that our children can enjoy a diverse and fair education, and have the chance to learn from each other’s differences. The National Secular Society’s No More Faith Schools campaign is an important step in this direction and provides a platform for those who want an inclusive education to show their support for that.
Dan Snow, Historian, broadcaster and television presenter
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 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 The idea that we should be segregating children based on the religious beliefs of their parents is wrong, outdated and damaging to our society.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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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