The National Secular Society, led by the homosexuals Terry Sanderson and Keith Porteous-Wood, are attempting to interfere with the freedom of the Catholic Church to run our schools according to our beliefs.
Michael Gove, the Education Minister, has rejected calls from the National Secular Society to intervene in response to the Bishops Conference issuing guidance about disciplinary action to be taken in the event of senior teachers being unchaste or being apostate. The NSS is calling for the law to be changed that allows faith school teachers to be disciplined or dismissed for conduct that is incompatible with the school’s religion. “We are concerned that such a harsh and unfair law drives a coach and horses through equality legislation and leaves teachers, paid using public money, uniquely vulnerable to discrimination.”
The National Secular Society, which has labelled the guidance “prurient and tyrannical”, this week wrote to education secretary Michael Gove calling for him to insist that the Catholic Education Service withdraw the booklet.
“The restrictions concerning the private lives of teachers employed in state schools go beyond the pale,” wrote Keith Porteous Wood, executive director of the National Secular Society, adding: “Criteria relating to activity outside the academic environment detailed in this publication are unreasonable and unrealistic; particularly in publicly funded schools and academies.”
However, Michael Gove has rejected the interference of the NSS in our schools:
But the Department for Education said today: ‘This is a matter for schools and their governors.
‘Faith schools can consider whether a person’s conduct is in line with their religious values when dismissing teachers. However schools must also comply with employment law.’
However, the NSS has succeeded in getting the European Commission to open an investigation into whether UK legislation relating to state funded ‘faith’ schools breaches European employment laws in relation to discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief. The NSS have complained about “The School Standards and Framework Act 1998 (SSFA) and Education Act 2011, and the extent to which they permit, as they put it, discrimination against staff employed in state funded ‘faith’ schools (in practice, mainly staff not of the religion or denomination promoted by the school). The NSS claim that the level of discrimination permitted in ‘faith’ schools against non-religious teachers and those not of the faith of the school goes beyond that which is permitted by European Directive 2000/78/EC, which establishes a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation, and the level of discrimination permitted is increased for academies.”
Protect the Pope comment: At present Catholic schools have the right to appoint Catholics to senior positions in our schools, such as Heads, Deputy Heads, Head of RE, and other leadership posts. Our schools also have the right to insist that teachers abide by the moral teachings of the Church. The National Secular Society is seeking to remove our rights to run our schools according to our faith. The National Secular Society is a tiny organisation with a small membership, but it has an influence way beyond its insignificance. They appear to be well-funded, and they obviously have friends in high-places, such as the BBC and the European Commission, that bastion of secularism.