The BHA is developing a national programme that offers humanist input to schools, particularly in order to support RE teachers. The BHA has a training programme for school speakers and advertises the service through the BHA website and other means. https://humanism.org.uk/education/  There is a host of training materials on the website. Chris Moore, one of our members, helps to co-ordinate this programme on a national basis, by matching requests that come through the BHA with speakers.

The purpose of the programme is to help RE teachers cover the part of the RE curriculum on  non- religious world views and philosophies of life, and in particular, Humanism. This is in line with the “Curriculum Framework for Religious Education in England 2013”, issued by the RE Council of England & Wales, which recommends that Humanism should be studied in schools as an example of a “non-religious worldview”, and the syllabus specified by a number of local SACREs  [1] – such as Richmond’s - for community schools .

As reflected in our Code of Practice, the aim is not  to proseletise, or denigrate the existing beliefs of children or their parents, but to help schools teach children about Humanism in the context of our plural society.

Our group is participating strongly in this scheme. We have a pool of BHA trained local speakers. Over the last year we have delivered about 18 sessions to local schools, both secondary and primary. These have taken the form of lessons coordinated with the RE teacher, panel discussions alongside people from other belief backgrounds, or speaking at school assemblies.

If you would like a humanist speaker to visit your school, please use this BHA request form or contact us directly if you would like to know more. If you are a teacher, school governor or non-religious parent and feel that your school would benefit from a visit from a humanist speaker, then please let them know about our service. We can provide a template letter for use by parents.

Jon Fayle co-ordinates this work for our group. Do get in touch with him at jonfayle@blueyonder.co.uk if you would like more information.

[1]  A SACRE is a Standing Advisory Committee for Religious Education. Every Local Authority is required to have such a body, to advise the LA on its RE curriculum, and other matters to do with religious education  

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