School curriculum

One of our aims is to promote a humanist perspective on public policy issues. Many humanists have had a profound interest in education and so the school curriculum has naturally been an area of focus for us. In practice, we concentrate on aspects of the curriculum where the humanist voice is excluded or weak, or where others are actively promoting policies at odds with our principles.

More specifically, we are involved in:

  • Religious education (RE), which we would like to see reformed into a broader subject that enables young people to consider fundamental philosophical questions, including those related to both religious and non-religious beliefs.
  • Science, where we are firm supporters of teaching young people about the scientific method, and science as a route to human knowledge. We also support evolution being taught at all stages of schooling, including the primary curriculum, and oppose any teaching of pseudoscience, in particular creationism or ‘intelligent design’, as valid scientific theories.
  • Personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education, particularly relationships and sex Education (RSE), as the subject is known in England, or relationships and sexuality education, as it is known in Wales and Northern Ireland. We believe all young people are entitled to unbiased and comprehensive education about relationships and sex, and support PSHE as a whole becoming a statutory part of the school curriculum.

While not part of the school curriculum, we also support reform of the legislation which currently requires every school in England and Wales to hold a daily act of collective worship. More specifically, we believe that it should be replaced with a requirement for schools to hold inclusive assemblies that contribute to the spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development of all pupils, regardless of religion or belief.