The British Humanist Association (BHA) has today welcomed a call by a number of high-profile religious representatives, to end discrimination in state-funded “faith schools”.
In a joint letter to The Times newspaper, nine members of different religious traditions, including Jewish, Muslim and Christian representatives, describe exceptions in the Equality Bill 2009, currently before Parliament, that allow state-funded “faith schools” to discriminate in admissions and employment as in breach of human rights and ‘religiously offensive’.
Andrew Copson, BHA Director of Education, said, ‘Most people, whether religious or non-religious, oppose religious discrimination in state-funded schools, and this joint letter reinforces that. We too were deeply disappointed that the Equality Bill 2009 has simply imported the wide exceptions that allow state-funded “faith schools” to discriminate in their admissions, employment and curriculum.’
‘We believe that “faith schools” are exclusive and divisive, and there is a growing body of evidence that they are damaging to social cohesion and actually create socio-economic inequalities, as well as religious segregation. It is one of our core aims to campaign for an inclusive schools system, where children of all different backgrounds and beliefs can learn with and from each other. In terms of the Equality Bill specifically, we will be working with others, including the Accord coalition, to pressure Parliament to outlaw religious discrimination in our schools.’
For further comment or information, please contact Andrew Copson on 020 7079 3584
Read more about the Accord Coalition
The British Humanist Association (BHA) is the national charity representing and supporting the non-religious and campaigning for an end to religious privilege and discrimination based on religion or belief.