We are setting up a group to look at the issue of religion in schools. Some of you will have heard the Education Campaigns Manager, Ruth Wareham, speak at our December meeting.
The Schools & Religion group meeting will be at 7pm, Monday 16th March, The Prince St Social, Prince Street, BS1 4PS. Please come along if you are interested in lobbying on this.
Bristol has a large number of faith schools and academies run by faith organisations. The sort of issues we could campaign on are:
- When new schools are announced we could bring pressure to bear for a secular organisation to run it.
- Admission procedures for religious schools have to be reviewed on a regular basis which would again provide opportunities to intervene.
- We can also address ongoing issues in school as the RE curriculum is not part of the National Curriculum but is set by each local authority. There are Standing Advisory Councils on Religious Education (SACREs) on which Humanists can provide representation for non-religious parents and students.
- Each school has legally to provide a daily Act of Collective Worship and is meant to provide a meaningful alternative for those pupils whose parents have withdrawn them. We can advise on how the alternative can be made meaningful.
- We have local elections coming up, including that for mayor. Religion in schools is a hidden subject and so this is an opportunity for the group to bringing the issues up with candidates and raise its public profile.
(Even if you don’t want to be part of the group, please raise religion in schools with your local candidates and the mayoral candidates – whether it’s on the doorstep, in a email or as a question at mayoral hustings.)
If you have any suggestions or queries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org