Schools should teach that Britain is a Christian country, says Nicky Morgan
Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has said schools should teach that Britain is a Christian country.
Mrs Morgan today published guidance for non-faith schools stating that they should not give “equal parity” to atheist views.
The guidance comes after humanists won a victory in the High Court, finding that the Education Secretary had been unlawful in excluding non-religious beliefs from school curriculums.
The guidance reads: “There is no obligation for any school or ASC to give equal air time to the teaching of religious and non-religious views.
“There is no obligation on any school to cover the teaching of non-religious world views (or any other particular aspect of the RE curriculum) in key stage 4 specifically. Rather it is for schools to determine how they meet their wider obligations across the key stages.”
However Mrs Morgan says humanists are using the court order as a “creeping ratchet effect” which will lead to primary schools teaching children about atheism.
In the new guidance, the Education Secretary says there is “no obligation for any school to give equal air time to the teaching of religious and non-religious views”.
It goes on to say that schools are not obliged to include atheism in GCSE religious studies lessons.
Other lessons may include information about atheism, however.
The British Humanist Association described the guidance as “significant”.
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This comes after a two-year inquiry into the place of religion in modern Britain, which found that it is no longer a Christian country.
Mrs Morgan, however, said: “The Government is determined to protect schools’ freedom to set their own religious studies curriculum, in line with the wishes of parents and the local community.
“The guidance I have issued today makes absolutely clear that the recent judicial review will have no impact on what is currently being taught in religious education.
“I am clear that both faith and non-faith schools are completely entitled to prioritise the teaching of religion and faith over non-religious views if they wish.”
A source close to Mrs Morgan told the Telegraph: “Nicky has had enough of campaign groups using the Courts to try and force the teaching of atheism and humanism to kids against parent’s wishes.
“That’s why she’s taking a stand to protect the right of schools to prioritise the teaching of Christianity and other major religions.”