The April meeting of the Hastings Humanists group will be devoted to a debate on education. The issues to be discussed include the continued introduction of Free Schools and Academies by the coalition government under the education minister Michael Gove, and the new proposals by the Church of England for a large-scale expansion of its influence as laid out in its new report “Church Schools of the Future” by Dr Priscilla Chadwick. The National Secular Society interprets the report as making clear that the Church intends to use its schools as a platform to evangelise throughout the community.
There are also existing issues such as the requirement for daily worship of a Christian nature in schools, the exclusion of Humanist representation on the East Sussex SACRE that determines the local curriculum for Religious Education, and the recent studies that show how “faith” schools exclude the poorest pupils, and the failure to provide realistic sex and relationships education.
Time will also be devoted to what Humanists see as the future of education in our fast-changing world. Can our existing education system cope with the coming technological advances? Can you name ten things that are vital for children to know, but are not taught at school? We would welcome anybody who would like to speak for 5 or 10 minutes on an aspect of the subject that concerns them.
The meeting is from 7 to 9 pm at the White Rock Hotel on Thursday 12th April.