British Humanist Association fails in legal moves to ban Catholic schools

Andrew Copson and the British Humanist Association have failed in their legal bid to ban Richmond Council allowing the Catholic Church to build a much needed secondary and primary school. The British Humanist Association and the Richmond Inclusive Schools campaign failed to persuade the High Court that Richmond Council broke laws in approving new schools which can prioritise Catholic children, which has always been the practice of Catholic voluntary-aided schools.

The High Court judge Mr Justice Sales rejected the British Humanist Association application for judicial review, saying he would give his full reasons at a later date.

Richmond Council says it is delighted with the ruling.

The schools, one secondary and one primary, are being set up by the Catholic diocese of Westminster and are due to open in September. Applications for places have already been made.

After the ruling Andrew Copson, chief executive of the British Humanist Association, said: “We are disappointed, but once we see the full reasons for this judgement we will appeal if we possibly can. Today’s case hinged on very technical issues but it raises wider questions relating to religious schools.”

Lord True, leader of Richmond Council, said: “I am delighted with today’s outcome which supports the clear, democratic decision that was taken locally in pursuit of the previously longstanding policy of both parties on the council.

“It will come as an enormous relief to the hundreds of families whose hopes for their children’s education has been threatened by this hostile legal manoeuvring.”

Protect the Pope comment: It is obvious that Copson and the British Humanist Association are attempting to use the law to achieve their long-term goal of banning faith schools. As the Archdiocese of Westminster stated in their press release when Copson announced his misguided legal challenge,  the British Humanist Association is ‘a national organisation that campaigns against the existence of all schools with a religious character’.

The motivation behind Copson and the British Humanist Association’s legal challenge has got nothing to do with inclusiveness in schools, and everything to do with their intolerant game-plan to ban all religious schools in the country.

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13 comments to British Humanist Association fails in legal moves to ban Catholic schools

  • Mark Thorne

    At last, some good news in a month that has been thwarted by so many depressing set-backs in political and international affairs. I pray that any appeal on the part of the BHA will prove to be equally as unsuccessful.

  • El Nino

    I think you should link to the Protest The Pope inaugural meeting in Old Richmond Library.

    If ever there was an example of a tactic backfiring I think this is it. Those schools are going to be there for the next 50 years.

    A lasting legacy of the Papal Visit.

  • George Gregory

    Not just to “ban all religious schools” but by their vexatious use of the law to harass Chritians.

  • Gurn

    Catholic schools? Why bother fighting for a cause that is already lost? The ‘Catholic’ in most of these ‘Catholic schools’ in this country are for decorative PR purposes only and they are without a trace of orthodoxy. RE lessons = boring pupils with patronising cutting and sticking activities and drawing storyboards, with the occasional mass that most would endeavour to avoid, not forgetting the Tablet reading ‘Chaplain’. Is it any wonder why when I was at Sixth Form the majority had pretty much rejected the faith or embraced heresy.

  • Simon

    Common sense prevailed. Should be some way of stopping such malicious litigation. Money spent on legal costs will place a burden upon cash strapped local authorities.

  • Lynda

    These atheistic organisations want to force the State to force parents to have their children educated in their particular atheistic philosophy, a false philosophy that does not accept the objective nature of man, the objective nature of reality. They do not want parents’ duty, right and authority to educate their children, to be upheld by the State.

  • Fr Francis Coveney

    Excellent news. Thank you for posting it.

  • Article 2 of Protocol No.1 of the The Substantive Protocols to the European Convention on Human Rights, dated 20 March 1952, provides that: “No person shall be denied the right to education. In the exercise of any functions which it assumes in relation to education and to teaching, the State shall respect the right of parents to ensure such education and teaching is in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions.”

    Get that last: the State — in relation to education this can be taken to mean the Local Authorities — shall respect the right of parents! The simplest way to address this issue is for the State/Local Authority to facilitate the establishment, and preservation, of Catholic schools were there is a clear need for them.

  • Eric

    Good news, although not for the Government’s Free School programme.

  • George

    the ‘troubles’ in N Ireland were and are the result of totally seperate religious education system and were a major contribution to 3000 plus deaths so far.

  • Nklas Schier

    ‘the ‘troubles’ in N Ireland were and are the result of totally seperate religious education system’

    No the Irish problem was the result of the English governments political attitudes to and persicution of the Catholic population of ireland over centuries and had nothing whatsover to do with Catholic education.

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