The current attempt by Nicky Morgan, education minister, to curtail legitimate requests for information regarding the selection of students for Faith Schools should not obscure the even larger question of religious indoctrination in all other schools. About a third of all State Primary schools are designated to have a “religious character” and for the vast majority this means CofE. These are not Faith schools but “regular” Primary schools.
Many of us have no option but to send our children to one of these schools yet in the last Census over 30% of Cambridgeshire parents declared their religion as NONE! Although religious education is mandatory it’s not a National Curriculum subject. Instead it is the responsibility of the local Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE) to determine its implementation along with a daily act of worship.
Cambridgeshire SACRE continues to resist our request to include a member of the Cambridge Secular Society on its committee. Of particular concern is the treatment of children whose parents have requested their absence from acts of worship. This can be embarrassing for youngsters who may feel that they are being punished by schools that have no stated policy for this eventuality.
Even the new Cambridge University Primary School that one might imagine would be the bastion of rational education, free of supernatural fantasy, has incorporated SACRE into its curriculum and has not responded to our request for information regarding its inclusion. If you are concerned about religious influence in your child’s school please support our Religion in Schools Campaign.