Category Archives: Religion and the Law

Trojan Horses in Birmingham; the Banning of Religion in Schools and Education

Dr Sarah Beresford

Tuesday 10th June saw the publication Ofsted’s much awaited report into 21 Birmingham schools in the so called leaked ‘Trojan horse’ letter which alleged a planned takeover of schools by Islamist extremists. One of the schools investigated was Park View Academy. Ofsted’s report found that the recruitment and promotion of staff at Parkview was unfair and opaque; students were not prepared adequately for life in a multicultural society; and there were few opportunities to learn about non-Muslim beliefs, nor adequate citizenship lessons or Sex and Relationships Education. This blog argues that this recent controversy is representative of a deeper problem than so-called ‘muslim take over plots’ or ‘Faith schools’. The issue is of the place of religion and religiosity in schools and in the curriculum. The issue has caused a public row between two senior coalition ministers with the Home Secretary Theresa May accusing the Education Secretary Michael Gove, of failing to deal with an alleged Islamist plot to take over schools. The issue goes deeper than a discussion on Faith schools (Park View is not a Faith school. If this amount of religious indoctrination can take place in a school which is not a faith school, what amount of indoctrination is taking place at faith schools?).

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Religion and Belief Discrimination: all about “core principles”? – Mba v London Borough of Merton [2013] EWCA Civ 1562

Dr Mark Butler

The recent decision of Mba v London Borough of Merton [2013] EWCA Civ 1562 saw the Court of Appeal once again have the opportunity to consider the issue of religious discrimination; this time due to a complaint brought by a worker who complained that having to work on a Sunday was treating her less favourably due to her Christian beliefs, with her belief that Sunday should be a day of rest being a “Core Christian Belief”.

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