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Education – Humanists pitch for SACREs

September 2017

A humanist parent in Wales is challenging the Vale of Glamorgan Council at the High Court in Cardiff, over its decision to exclude a humanist representative from the local body responsible for overseeing religious education (RE) in the area.

Kathy Riddick, who is also the co-ordinator of Wales Humanists, applied to join the Vale of Glamorgan’s standing advisory council on RE (SACRE) as the humanist member, last year. However, she was denied membership, even though a number of other religious representatives are already members of the SACRE.

Humanists UK (formerly the British Humanists Association) has joined Ms Riddick as a claimant in the case. Ms Riddick and Humanists UK were given permission to challenge the Vale of Glamorgan’s decision, on the grounds it unlawfully discriminates against humanists and has the effect of relegating non-religious worldviews below religions, in a way which fails to comply with human rights law.

If the challenge is successful, it could mean all SACREs in England and Wales must admit humanists as full members alongside representatives of religions.