A modern society has to be a secular one. A secular society is not an atheist society; it is a society in which no one gains undue favour or faces discrimination due to their religious beliefs - or lack thereof.
According to the British Humanist Association:
1.2 million school places in England and Wales are prioritised for young people whose parents are of a particular religion, which is more than the total number of places at grammar schools and private schools combined. The law permits ‘faith’ schools to discriminate in all sorts of ways, including in admissions and employment, which has been shown to contribute to social segregation in communities up and down the country.
Religious discrimination is bad enough. What’s even worse, is that some schools seem to be using their ability to select students to discriminate against students from poorer socio-economic backgrounds. It’s not clear whether this is direct or indirect discrimination but given the general negative correlation between wealth and religiosity, it is hard to see how it could be accidental. Either way, it’s clearly not good.
To combat this discrimination, the Fair Admissions Campaign has been established.
Are you facing the prospect of your child being unable to gain admittance to your local school, because of religious selection? Or have you had to game the system in order to get them in? Are you happy to live in a society in which children are discriminated against on these grounds, while parents feel compelled to behave in this manner?
This situation is clearly unfair, and that’s what we’re here to challenge. We are a new campaign that is supported by a wide coalition of individuals and national and local organisations, aiming to tackle the single issue of religious selection in school admissions.
Happily, many organisations - including religious ones - are supporting this campaign. Religious selection as a basis for education has to end.
Religions already have tax-exempt institutions in which they can try to influence the minds of the innocent. They do not need schools as well. If you live in the UK, please support the campaign.