Did you know that 1.2 million state school places in England and Wales are subject to discriminatory religious admissions criteria? Did you know that these schools can prioritise not just those of a certain faith but also those of other faiths over those of no faith? And did you know that these admissions policies don’t just segregate schools religiously but also ethnically and socio-economically?
The BHA believes that the freedom to discriminate against pupils on the grounds of their parents’ religious or non-religious beliefs is both wrong in principle and incredibly damaging in practice. In this talk we will discuss the ways in which this kind of discrimination manifests itself in schools today, the impact that it has in an increasingly diverse society and an increasingly irreligious one, and the campaigns the BHA is running in order to bring about a more open, inclusive, and integrated education system.
Jay Harman is the British Humanist Association’s Faith Schools and Education Campaigner. He works on all the BHA’s education issues, from school admissions and discrimination in employment, to religious education, collective worship and evolution vs creationism in schools.
Jay is on the steering groups of the Accord Coalition for inclusive education and the Fair Admissions Campaign, and is a representative of the BHA at the Religious Education Council for England and Wales.