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.

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Maryam Namazie, Human rights campaigner

I am happy to join the No More Faith Schools campaign. Education must be secular.

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Lord Desai, Economist and Labour politician

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.

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Peter Tatchell, 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.

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Stephen Law, Philosopher and author.

If we are aiming for an inclusive society, the fewer divisions we can impose on our growing children the better.

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Virginia Ironside, Journalist, agony aunt and author

Children must be free to make up their own minds on issues such as religion. End faith schools now.

Andy, Leeds

It is absolutely essential that schools are run along secular lines as faith schools cause divisions. Faith schools segregate children in terms of their parents' religion which means that children are made aware of unnecessary differences. There should be no more faith schools and the present faith schools should go back to being secular.

Asad, from DARTFORD

Faith schools divide children. In Northern Ireland, we know this well. It segregates them, and breeds indoctrination, intolerance, hate and fear. Faith schools gives churches access to children they otherwise no longer have. I have spoken with non-religious parents horrified by their child coming home talking about Jesus and trying to pray. Faith schools create unequal treatment for those children not of the dominant religion who nevertheless have to attend those schools through lack of choice.

Colin, from BELFAST

Education is a right in this country. Every child has a right to be educated without fear or favour, learning knowledge and skills, discovering the world about them, and learning how to evaluate what they discover. Education needs to be facilitated without trying to inculcate any belief agenda which distorts the dispassionate objectivity of education. Children need to be able to question and challenge. Faith schools are fundamentally wrong because they work against these objectives. Because faith schools are part of the national, publicly funded education system, many parents have no option but to send their children to a faith school with which they fundamentally disagree. They should be abolished.

Sarah, from STOKE-ON-TRENT

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.

Merilyn, Barnet

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