BHA launches fundraising campaign to employ its schools campaigner for another year
Please donate today to support our ongoing campaign against ‘faith’ schools at http:// justgiving.com/nofaithschools
The British Humanist Association (BHA) has today launched a major fundraising campaign so that it can continue to employ the only dedicated UK campaigner against ‘faith’ schools. The campaign has been launched with an email from the campaigner himself, Richy Thompson, setting out some of the major successes over the last year.
For the past five years, the BHA has employed a member of staff whose sole job it is to campaign against ‘faith’ schools and on religious influence in the curriculum. Richy has been the holder of this post since May 2011, and in the letter, he sets out some of the challenges faced over the past year, and many of the victories achieved. These include:
• The Government changing the rules governing Free Schools to say that they cannot make provision for the teaching in any subject of creationism or other pseudoscience – after the BHA called for this precise change
• Evolution being added to the primary curriculum – something the BHA has campaigned in favour of for years
• The BHA overturning plans to enable Community schools to convert to ‘faith’ Academies in one step
• The BHA helping expose an anti-abortion group going into schools and telling children that abortion causes breast cancer
• The BHA triggering legal cases with the Government over secrecy around proposed Free Schools, and against religious schools opening by the back door
• The BHA helping save the only school without a religious character in the west of the Isle of Wight from closure – which was threatened simply because the alternative choices were ‘faith’ schools
BHA Chief Executive Andrew Copson commented, ‘Over the past year, the evidence against state-funded religious schools has only become stronger – thanks, in part, to new research carried out by Richy into how religious schools are opening ‘by the back door’, and research carried out by The Guardian with support from Richy, which showed that religious schools shun the poorest pupils.
‘At the same time, our campaign against “faith” schools has become ever more successful, in spite of the difficult political environment we are currently in. Some of those successes are highlighted in Richy’s letter.
‘However, there have also been setbacks: for example, Grindon Hall Christian School opening as a Free School, despite its having previously taught creationism as a scientific theory. And last year, the proportion of religious schools continued to rise, with a net gain of 76 new schools.
‘So it’s hugely important that Richy is able to continue his work, which is why we are asking people today to donate to the JustGiving campaign.’
Make a donation to the BHA’s campaign against ‘faith’ schools on the fundraising page at http://justgiving.com/nofaithschools