Amanda Spielman – Head of OFSTED
School leaders should promote “muscular liberalism”
The National Secular Society has welcomed a call from the head of education watchdog Ofsted for head teachers to confront religious extremists who “indoctrinate impressionable minds”.
In a speech at the Church of England Foundation for Education Leadership, Amanda Spielman told heads they had a responsibility to “tackle those who actively undermine fundamental British values or equalities law”.
Ms Spielman said school leaders should promote “a muscular liberalism” which “holds no truck for ideologies that want to close minds or narrow opportunity”. She contrasted this with “a passive liberalism that says ‘anything goes’ for fear of causing offence”.
Last week, Humanists UK took the step of making student membership of Humanists UK absolutely free for all students in further education for the duration of their degrees.
See recent campaigns by Humanists UK.
Apply for student membership here.
Survey finds more than half UK population
has no religion – Harriet Sherwood
Guardian – Monday 4th September 2017
British Social Attitudes survey shows generation gap on religious affiliation is widening with only 3% of adults under 24 describing themselves as Anglican
The survey found that 53% of all adults had no religious affiliation, up from 48% in 2015. Photograph: Linda Nylind for the
The Church of England is facing a catastrophic fall in the proportion of young adults who describe themselves as Anglican as data shows an acceleration towards a secular society.
For the first time, more than half the population say they have no religion, and the generation gap on religious affiliation is widening, according to the British Social Attitudes survey.
Only 3% of adults under 24 describe themselves as Anglican – fewer than the 5% who identify as Catholic. Almost three out of four 18- to 24-year-olds say they have no religion, a rise of nine percentage points since 2015.
Read the full article
Cornwall Humanists Member, Mark Preedy,
in discussion with Andy Bannister
Mark Preedy debates with Andy Banister
Congratulations to Cornwall Humanist member Mark Preedy for his excellent, rational thoughts at Creation Fest on 9th August at Wadebridge Show Ground. Andy Bannister was putting a Christian view. He is an experienced speaker, writer, teacher, and full-time Director of the Solas Centre for Public Christianity. Justin Brierley chaired a discussion in the Showcase Cafe between a Humanist, Mark Preedy, and a Christian, Andy Bannister. The discussion is to be broadcast at 14.30 on Saturday 12th August in the programme “Unblievable” for Premier Christian Radio.
In the public question time Peter Edmead, a member of Cornwall Humanists, asked Andy Bannister if he could supply one piece of evidence for his views. Dr Bannister told us that he could give five pieces of evidence for his Christian beliefs. He spoke about cosmic fine tuning as evidence, and the life of Jesus, but the questioner was not convinced that any evidence in a scientific sense had been supplied. There were seven known Humanists in the audience numbering hundreds. The Humanists were approached afterwards by people trying to convince them of the truth of Christianity.
The discussion was recorded for broadcast on Premier Christian Radio programme “Unbelievable” which goes out at 14.30 on Saturday 12th August. You can listen online or to the podcast https://www.premierchristianradio.com/Shows/Saturday/Unbelievable/Episodes
Some members of Cornwall Humanists meet on the second Sunday of each month at the Sonder Cafe, 6 Prince’s St, Truro TR1 2ES.
It is an informal meeting run by Cornwall Humanists for discussions.
If you are non religious but believe in an ethical lifestyle, and would like to find out more, do join us for coffee or a beer.
We usually meet from 11am to 12.30pm.
About the Sonder Cafe
In their own words – taken from the Sonder Cafe website:
“We are not the norm. We are a bar, a cafe, a restaurant, a takeaway, a coffee house, a meeting place and more!!”
We believe that pupils from all different backgrounds should be educated together in a shared environment, rather than separated according to the religious beliefs of their parents.
Humanists UK has long been involved in campaigning for an end to the laws that allow schools with a religious character to discriminate in their admissions and employment policies and to teach a biased RE curriculum. In September 2008 we became one of the founder members of the Accord Coalition – a wide coalition of organisations working for reform of state funded schools to make them more inclusive in matters of religion or belief. Accord brings together religious and non-religious supporters of change as well as teaching unions, human rights organisations and high profile individuals. Read more
Catholic Research Forum Report
Based on findings in Britain in 2015
48.6% of adult Britons now claim to have no religion.
43.0% identify themselves as Christian.
8.4% identify themselves with a non-Christian religion.
You can read the full 20 page report here.
The following is an article published in the March 2017 issue of the Royal Cornwall Hospital’s “One + All” magazine.
Humanist Pastoral Volunteer
Volunteering at RCHT attracts people of all ages, coming from all sorts of backgrounds. Most have inspiring stories to tell about why they have chosen to give their time to support patients, staff and visitors at our hospitals. In this edition of “One + All” we take a look at some of these stories.
Why help? – Why not? says pastoral volunteer Peter
Peter Edmead is a “Humanist Pastoral Volunteer” who divides his time between West Cornwall Hospital and the Royal Cornwall Hospital site at Treliske. While his role with the voluntary services has had a relatively recent beginning, his interest in providing help and support to those in need has been a long held concern.
“I retired in 2013” explains Peter ‘Prior to that, I’d spent over twenty years working as a full time state teacher. Pastoral support is a major requirement in the teaching profession, especially in my roles of teacher, form tutor, special needs co-ordinator, and then Head of Science. It was this experience, as well as my interest in Humanism, that provided me with the necessary background for my role as a Humanist volunteer.”
Bertrand Russell 1970
You can watch a 2 minute video of Bertrand Russell speaking in 1970.
The UK is the only country in the world to impose Christian worship in state-funded schools.
The United Nations Organisation says it is wrong. Write to your MP to change the law.
As you know, the BHA is committed to ensuring a fair education system in which all children are free to arrive at their own conclusions about life’s big questions. That means not only that schools should provide an inclusive, balanced, and objective education about different religions and non-religious worldviews, but also that children should be free from any requirement to participate in religious worship at school.
Collective worship – United Nations Report
In a section on Freedom of thought, conscience and religion, the UN reports states:
The Committee is concerned that pupils are required by law to take part in a daily religious worship which is “wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character” in publicly funded schools in England and Wales, and that children do not have the right to withdraw from such worship without parental permission before entering the sixth form. In Northern Ireland and Scotland, children do not have right to withdraw from collective worship without parental permission.
The Committee recommends that the State party repeal legal provisions for compulsory attendance at collective worship in publicly funded schools and ensure that children can independently exercise the right to withdraw from religious worship at school. June 2016