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Humanists UK respond to Michaela School ‘prayer ban’ ruling – Humanists UK



Humanists UK respond to Michaela School ‘prayer ban’ ruling – Humanists UK
Pictured: Michaela Neighborhood Faculty Buidlings, Wikipedia Commons, Jonathan A Jones, CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED

Humanists UK have known as for the Authorities to develop nationwide steerage for England on the query of non secular practices in faculties following immediately’s Excessive Court docket ruling which dominated in favour of the so-called ‘prayer ban’ at Michaela Neighborhood Faculty, Brent. 

Michaela Neighborhood Faculty was taken to the Excessive Court docket in January by a Muslim pupil following allegations {that a} ban on all prayers and worship had been imposed within the college. The pupil argued that the ban was a ‘breach of her proper to freedom to manifest her non secular beliefs’, nevertheless this was rejected on the grounds that the pupil had…

‘chosen the Faculty figuring out of its strict regime; on the proof she was capable of transfer to an acceptable college which might permit her to hope at lunchtime; and, in any occasion, she was capable of carry out Qada prayers with a purpose to mitigate the truth that she was not capable of pray on the allotted time.

The choose additional dominated that:

‘The drawback to Muslim pupils on the college attributable to the PRP (prayer ritual coverage) was outweighed by the goals which it seeks to advertise within the pursuits of the varsity neighborhood as an entire, together with Muslim pupils’.

There are not any current legal guidelines to explicitly govern non secular practices in faculties in England aside from that (uniquely on this planet) Christian worship in state faculties ought to happen on daily basis. This latter requirement has been condemned by the UN as in breach of the UN Conference on the Rights of the Youngster. The Nationwide Governance Affiliation additionally known as for the requirement to be abolished since 2018, as have most instructing unions. In a debate within the Home of Lords in January, friends known as for the abolition of collective worship in faculties.

Humanists UK has lengthy campaigned towards the authorized requirement, arguing that the regulation is inconsistent with trendy society and calling for collective worship to get replaced by inclusive assemblies. In 2019 we supported Lee and Lizanne Harris to efficiently problem necessary collective worship at their baby’s college on human rights grounds.

Commenting on the Excessive Court docket ruling Humanists UK Chief Govt Andrew Copson stated:

‘Within the absence of nationwide steerage on non secular practices in faculties and of a critical nationwide dialogue about current legal guidelines, circumstances like this can proceed to be introduced. Faculties shouldn’t be left alone to cope with this. As we speak’s Excessive Court docket judgment requires critical considering from the federal government about easy methods to defend the kid’s freedom of faith or perception whereas additionally ensuring our training system is truthful and inclusive to all.

‘We consider a primary step needs to be to resolve the broader challenge of necessary collective worship in faculties and change it with an inclusive type of meeting that makes all pupils really feel welcomed, whereas making cheap lodging for many who need to privately pray or worship the place it doesn’t infringe the rights and freedoms of others. With out such holistic consideration, resentment will proceed to construct inside our faculty system.’


For additional remark or data, media ought to contact Humanists UK Director of Public Affairs and Coverage Kathy Riddick at [email protected] or telephone 07534 248 596.

Learn extra about our work on Collective Worship and faith and worldviews training. 

Learn Andrew Copson’s touch upon the necessity for reform to Collective Worship.

Humanists UK is the nationwide charity engaged on behalf of non-religious folks. Powered by over 120,000 members and supporters, we advance free considering and promote humanism to create a tolerant society the place rational considering and kindness prevail. We offer ceremonies, pastoral care, training, and help providers benefitting over 1,000,000 folks yearly and our campaigns advance humanist considering on moral points, human rights, and equal therapy for all.

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