From the BHA:
The Church of England’s educational empire-building continues, with its recent announcement of plans to build more than 100 discriminatory Anglican ‘free schools’, which will have the legal right to select 50% of school places on the basis of religion.
As if that weren’t bad enough, other major players in our sorry ‘faith’ schools sector are pushing for that cap to be lifted. The Catholic Church, for example, is determined to be able to discriminate with 100% of places at its new schools. A national charity responsible for promoting ‘free schools’, the New Schools Network, has also called for a lift on the cap.
This is all profoundly worrying. At a time when we need more than ever for people of all beliefs and backgrounds to mix together, we are seeing distressing moves towards segregation and discrimination. A Balkanised education system serves no one but the religious establishments which stand to profit from the takeover of education. Their expansion agenda represents a fundamental threat to the rights of children to determine their own beliefs.
Other Christian groups have also been taking advantage of the political chaos and the rise in British nationalism that followed the 23 June ‘Brexit’ vote. Christian Concern, the fundamentalist Christian lobby group, has called for a rollback on decades of progress towards securing equal rights for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender people. It would be irresponsible to be complacent about the threat they could pose.
As ever, we are determined to fight for a fairer education system and for human rights and equality for everyone in Britain, regardless of religion or belief. To do this we need support and encouragement of our members, and just as importantly, the funding that membership provides. If you haven’t already, you can join the BHA today.
Doing so will give a serious boost to our work to promote reason, empathy, and Enlightenment values where they’re needed most.
If you’re already a member, you can support us by encouraging friends to join. One way of doing that today would be to tweet a call to join via this link.