I met Jay at the British Humanist Association (BHA) conference this year. Without hesitation, this is someone to fund to keep the no faith schools campaign going. But do not just take my word for it. Professor Alice Roberts sent an email out this evening, highlighting the work Jay does. As the recent receipent of humanist of the year, the importance of secular education is one she has championed herself.
Her email via BHA follows, and the link to just giving is here.
My name is Alice Roberts. I’m a biologist, a BHA Patron, an honorary fellow of the British Science Association, the Professor of Public Engagement in Science at the University of Birmingham, and the mother of two young children.
Throughout my career, I’ve done my best to speak up for causes I believe in, not least around religious discrimination in our schools, and I like to think that the support I’ve been able to voice has made at least a small difference.
However, I know that these issues demand the attention of someone working full time to campaign for change. Currently, there’s only one campaigner in the entire country dedicated to opposing undue religious influence in the education system. His name is Jay Harman, and he is employed by the BHA.
I’m writing to you today to ask if you can make a contribution at justgiving.com/nofaithschools so the BHA can continue to employ Jay. Your gift will help the BHA to continue funding the vital work that Jay does for all of us.
My area of focus is and always has been science. Thanks to the BHA’s Faith Schools Campaigner, this September marked the first teaching of evolution as part of the English primary curriculum. This is such an important step and one that simply wouldn’t have been possible without the work of this important position. Our next ambition is to repeat this success in Wales.
There’s still such a long way to go. Earlier this year, Jay investigated the extent to which creationist private schools were continuing to receive state funds through their nurseries despite a Government ban last summer. Shockingly, Jay’s research revealed that the ban was having almost no effect whatsoever and these groups continue to receive taxpayers’ money whilst polluting the minds of young children with creationist and pseudoscientific nonsense.
Without a dedicated campaigner focusing solely on these issues, this would never have come to light. Can you donate so this vital work can continue?
If that wasn’t enough, last month Jay also revealed yet another way that ‘faith’ schools have been failing parents and children by demanding that they contribute often exorbitant sums of money towards the upkeep of the school and pressuring them into paying even if they’re not in a position to. And just last week, the BHA put out a landmark new report which showed shocking proof that virtually all religiously selective schools discriminate illegally in their admission arrangements, with many rigging their policies to prioritise affluent, and even racially exclusive intakes.
This system is desperately unfair and so many non-religious parents find themselves with no choice but to send their child to the local ‘faith’ school, knowing that their children will be taught a narrow and even indoctrinatory RE syllabus. Can it be right that religious groups can use taxpayer funds to gain privileged access to, and control of, children’s education?
If, like me, you want Jay’s work to continue, then please donate generously at www.justgiving.com/nofaithschools so the humanist voice can continue to be heard.
P.S. Please don’t forget to donate. Please don’t put it off. Donate today at www.justgiving.com/nofaithschools, so that every child can have a fair and balanced education, free from indoctrination in religion.
All donations will go towards employing the Faith Schools and Education Campaigner for another year and funding his campaigning activities. Any money donated over and above our target will go towards boosting the BHA’s education campaigns.