The National Secular Society recently held an online conference on inclusive education in Northern Ireland. Here, Alastair Lichten shares the videos from the conference and thoughts on the speakers’ key messages.
Category Archives: NSS articles
CofE plans to increase influence in post-16 education smack of hubris
The Church of England’s emerging plans to expand their role in sixth form and further education colleges, accompanied by empire building and evangelism, may undermine the secularity and inclusivity of this sector, argues Alastair Lichten.
A government blueprint for more religious control of schools?
The government’s new proposals for education reform in England could see increased discrimination, and most non-faith schools placed in faith-based academy trusts. Alastair Lichten explores the threat to secular education posed by the ‘Opportunity for all’ white paper.
Religious selection is only part of the problem with faith schools
Ending religious discrimination in faith school admissions is an important first step; but it will not undo all the harms caused by faith schools, says Alastair Lichten.
Remove religious gatekeepers from school admissions
Faith-based selection forces families’ religiosity to be assessed, compels conformity, and undermines everyone’s freedom of belief, says Alastair Lichten.
Why is the Catholic church allowed to hinder secondary school choice?
A case in Leicestershire shows the mess faith groups make of admissions and why secular accountability is necessary, argues Alastair Lichten.
Locked in and locked out: how faith schools restrict families’ choices
State funding of faith schools means many families are left without suitable schools. The narrative that faith schools are justified on the grounds of choice should be confronted, says Alastair Lichten.
Will the government protect the ethos of secular schools?
The Department for Education’s protections for the secular community ethos of non-faith academies are inadequate. This enables a consolidation of religious control and undermines accountability, argues Alastair Lichten.
Schools must be supported against religious bullies
Comments from Ofsted’s chief inspector highlight the need to help schools resist efforts to shut down teaching which reactionary religious groups deem controversial, says Alastair Lichten.
Requires improvement: Ofsted review shows need for a major rethink on RE
A review has highlighted significant problems with the way RE is taught. Alastair Lichten argues that it shows the need to ask fundamental questions about the purpose of education about religion.