Nicky Morgan Secretary of State for Education
George Osborne announced in his budget speech that all schools will be forced to become academies.
When small primary schools form a grouping to give them a viable size for an academy, there may be a religious school in the group.
This may result in the entire academy having to take on aspects of the religious school in the group. This could in turn have the effect of forcing many schools without a religious character, to become to some extent religious schools.
Read the full article from BHA.
Prof Jerry Coyne delivers the Darwin lecture on 13th February
The lecture, hosted by the British Humanist Association (BHA) and entitled ‘Evolution and atheism: best friends forever?’, explored whether comprehension of evolution was inimical to religious belief. Professor Coyne presented data which showed that fewer than one in five Americans believe in the naturalistic evolution which is taught in science lessons.
Read more on the BHA website
Only By Accepting That Britain Is No Longer a Christian Country Can We Start to Look Towards Real Equality
Andrew Copson in the Huffington Post 7th December 2015
Monday’s report from the Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life is a watershed moment for recognition of the non-religious and the significant role that they play in the community. While the report gives due attention to the 8% of Britons of non-Christian religions and what their increase means for our public life, it is unique in giving fair recognition to the 50% of us in Britain who say we have no religion: the fastest growing group in this country.
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Government Broke the Law
In a landmark judgment handed down in the High Court today, a judge has ruled in favour of the three humanist parents and their children who challenged the Government’s relegation of non-religious worldviews in the latest subject content for GCSE Religious Studies. In his decision, Mr Justice Warby stated that the Government had made an ‘error of law’ in leaving non-religious worldviews such as humanism out of the GCSE, amounting to ‘a breach of the duty to take care that information or knowledge included in the curriculum is conveyed in a pluralistic manner.’ The British Humanist Association (BHA), which was responsible for bringing the case and has supported the three families throughout, has welcomed the landmark decision.
Read the report by the BHA
From the BHA Read BHA thoughts on learning together
New NHS obligation to provide equal pastoral care to non-religious in England
March 6th, 2015
With the publication today of new national guidance, NHS bodies in England will be obliged for the first time to provide pastoral support and care to non-religious people on the same basis as chaplaincy is provided to the religious.
Promoting Excellence in Pastoral, Spiritual & Religious Care marks a significant departure from previous guidance, which focussed solely on religious chaplaincy and the needs of the religious. It makes clear that NHS bodies in England must deliver appropriate pastoral care to the non-religious; it mandates the equal treatment of those with a religion and those without a religion in the receipt of pastoral care; and it makes clear that managers must ensure that a comprehensive service must be in place that meets the needs of the non-religious.
Read whole item from the British Humanist Association
From the British Humanist Association
The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has announced a £400,000 programme to ‘strengthen faith institutions’. The fund will be available only to bid-winning charities to support the growth of ‘places of worship’ in Britain. The British Humanist Association (BHA) has criticised the project as a poor use of public money and discriminatory.
Justifying its decision, the DCLG stated that ‘Faith communities make a vital contribution to national life: they guide the moral outlook of many, inspire great numbers of people to public service and provide help to those in need.’ Fitting with previous comments made by senior Government ministers, including the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles, the impetus for this enormous spending drive appears to be an unsupported belief that religious organisations and people do more good for local communities than non-religious ones, and so are more deserving of public funds. Continue reading