Skeptic News: Humanists attempt to halt 'back-door' spread of state-funded religious schools

From: Guardian Education

A potentially landmark high court case begins today, which could halt what campaigners call the “back-door” spread of new state religious schools through England, approved by councils without residents being given a choice of alternative.

The British Humanist Association (BHA), which has launched the action with a local campaign group, is applying for judicial review of the decision by a London council, Richmond, to hand £10m of land and assets to the Catholic church to set up two new voluntary-aided religious schools, one primary and one secondary.

The case will hinge on a relatively narrow piece of legislation, an amendment to the Education Act passed last year, which compels councils looking to set up a new school to also seek proposals for a free school, with the competing bids decided on by the Department for Education. But the BHA says it highlights a wider issue of councils too often waving through state-funded faith schools, with the last five years seeing two-thirds of them set up without any alternatives being offered.

While the 21st Floor takes no issue with religion in schools some of our number do take strong issue with religious schools. We wish the BHA luck in todays legal action.

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