Affected by faith schools?
We are trying to gather evidence about the impact of faith schools on pupils, teachers and parents and we’re really keen to hear about your experiences if you, your family or friends have been affected by faith schools in the last five years. Was your child unable to attend the local school because it had religious admissions criteria, or you felt uncomfortable with its ethos? Did your child attend a faith school and feel pressured into being religious, or isolated as a result of being withdrawn from assembly? Are you a teacher who has found it difficult to get jobs or promotions because of posts reserved for religious teachers, or have you felt less valued because you don’t have religious beliefs? Or maybe you attended a faith school yourself and felt that the RE curriculum taught at your school did not adequately prepare you for the diversity of beliefs and values in modern Britain.
Equally, you might have come across interesting ways that community schools foster a positive ethos without pushing a religious doctrine, and we would like to hear examples of that as well. Faith Schools Campaigner Alex Kennedy says, “It really helps us to understand the situation and make our case well if have plenty of real world examples of the impact of faith schools.”
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your experiences. Any information you give will be used in a way which respects your right to anonymity, unless you give us express permission to use your name.
A qualified welcome to changes to equalities legislation
We have welcomed moves towards greater equality as set out in the Government’s Equality Bill White Paper, but urged caution against the potential unintended consequence of increased discrimination against individuals. Hanne Stinson, BHA Chief Executive, said, “Humanists are committed to the full implementation of human rights and equality for all and we look forward to working with the Government in the coming months to ensure that the Bill achieves this in practice. We welcome the White Paper which aims to extend and promote equality between different people. However, we must be very careful that some proposals, such as extending positive action in employment and the proposed additional public duty in relation to religion or belief, do not inadvertently increase discrimination against individuals based on actual or perceived affiliation to a group.”
We hope that the new law will also address existing problems of discrimination by religious organisations, which are currently exempt from some aspects of equalities legislation.