National Secular Society - Education and Faith Schools

Education and Faith Schools

Education is one of the NSS’s prime concerns and it continues to campaign against public funding of faith schools. It holds that morality, ethics and citizenship should be taught outside a religious framework. It also opposes the teaching of creationism, or Intelligent Design as an alternative to mainstream science, not that it is taught in UK schools. It also opposes the appointment of teachers and support staff according to religious criteria, as part of a more general campaign against exemptions from anti-discrimination legislation for religious bodies. The Society has successfully campaigned for the legal right of older pupils to opt themselves out of religious assemblies at school.

The Society also argues that children of families of no-faith and “the wrong faith” are being increasingly discriminated against in admission procedures because of the high number of religious schools. Together with City Technology Colleges (which also have admissions privileges), the Society would like to see these schools become community schools, although it accepts the need for a transition period to achieve this goal. The NSS has drawn attention to recent statistical research supporting its claims of discrimination in faith schools based on selection of pupils from wealthier families. Specifically, religious schools take in 10% fewer poor pupils than are representative of the local area. However, both representatives from the Church of England and a separate Parent Association denied the existence or evidence of selection to their own schools being based on social background and a spokesman for the Centre of Economics has indicated that the bias in social background may stem from those more likely to apply to a religious school, not the selection process. The National Secular Society has also argued that faith schools exacerbate religious, ethnic and cultural divisions by separating children from those of other faiths and cultural backgrounds. In 2010 the NSS instigated a Judicial Review to test the legality of prayers being part of the official business of Council meetings as it believes politics and religion should be kept separate.

Read more about this topic:  National Secular Society

Famous quotes containing the words education and, schools, education and/or faith:

    He was the product of an English public school and university. He was, moreover, a modern product of those seats of athletic exercise. He had little education and highly developed muscles—that is to say, he was no scholar, but essentially a gentleman.
    H. Seton Merriman (1862–1903)

    To be a Negro is to participate in a culture of poverty and fear that goes far deeper than any law for or against discrimination.... After the racist statutes are all struck down, after legal equality has been achieved in the schools and in the courts, there remains the profound institutionalized and abiding wrong that white America has worked on the Negro for so long.
    Michael Harrington (1928–1989)

    Until we devise means of discovering workers who are temperamentally irked by monotony it will be well to take for granted that the majority of human beings cannot safely be regimented at work without relief in the form of education and recreation and pleasant surroundings.
    Mary Barnett Gilson (1877–?)

    We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; yet we know that a person is justified not by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ. And we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by doing the works of the law, because no one will be justified by the works of the law.
    Bible: New Testament, Galatians 2:15-16.