The alternative to religion in education


As our campaign for a fairer, more inclusive approach to education free of religious influence progresses, the conversation often turns to how we can help children discover more about the different cultures and beliefs around the world, and begin to explore questions of morality.

We at HSS have always maintained that all pupils are entitled to inclusive religious education, where children have the opportunity to learn about all religions objectively. But it’s equally important that children have the chance to learn about other belief groups, about philosophy, about the various ways thousands of people lead good, ethical and fulfilling lives without religion. Philosophy with Children would be an excellent way to achieve this, and help children to explore their own thoughts and beliefs as individuals. Dr Claire Cassidy (Senior Lecturer and Deputy Head of Education at Strathclyde University) is the course leader of the Postgraduate Certificate in Philosophy with Children at Strathclyde. Here she tells us about Philosophy with Children, how it can be introduced into the classroom, and the benefits of having these discussions with children of all ages.

Larissa Sterchi with John Bishop

Larissa Sterchi with John Bishop

In this episode we also take a look back at the work of our former Policy and Campaigns Intern, Larissa Sterchi. Larissa joined us for just four weeks in May of this year. In that time she worked closely with HSS Trustee John Bishop on The Secularity Index, an extensive project developing a means of comparing the levels of secularity in different European countries, and the extent to which public policy is influenced by religious and belief systems. She presents her work to an audience in Edinburgh.



Please note: there is some background noise throughout this podcast as sections were recorded in various, uncontrollable, locations.

To learn more about our campaign work on education please visit


The Humanitie Podcast is the monthly audio update from Humanist Society Scotland. If there is anything you’d like us to explore we’d be happy to hear from you, so feel free to get in touch.


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