In this guest post, David Pollock, a trustee of the British Humanist Association, explores how, in his view, the Department for Education is defying the law on Religious Education in non-faith schools. The post is an edited, slightly shorter version of the paper he delivered at the recent LARSN conference in Cardiff.
The UK has no constitution, or rather the constitution is unwritten and evolves as circumstances require. It is therefore a land governed not by principle but by pragmatism and power-broking. The evolution of our school system is a case in point. There was the struggle for power between the Church of England and the Nonconformists throughout the 19th century that for decades sidelined both Parliament and government as ineffective onlookers. In 1870, 1902 and again in 1944 deals were done resulting in compromises between religious interests with the power of possession and educationists and administrators seeking an efficient school system. Continue reading