The British Humanist Association (BHA) has today launched a fundraising drive in order to be able to continue to employ its Campaigns Officer on Faith Schools and Education in 2015. The BHA’s Campaigner, Richy Thompson, is the only dedicated individual working against ‘faith’ schools in the UK, and the BHA is asking the public for support in covering his salary for next year.
The fundraising drive has been launched by an impassioned plea from a former member of staff at Park View School in Birmingham, the school at the centre of the so-called ‘Trojan Horse’ scandal, one of three whom Richy helped raise concerns about the school with the Department for Education and Ofsted – promptingboth groups to investigate the school, over a month before the ‘Trojan Horse’ letter appeared in the press.
The member of staff explains some of the things she witnessed during their time there, before explaining that ‘After I left the school I knew I had to do something but was unsure where to start. A friend suggested I contact the BHA. After speaking to Richy, he passed on our concerns to the right officials…
‘By April it was apparent that the individuals running the school that I knew were complicit in many of the problems we had outlined were intent on denying any wrongdoing. So I asked Richy if it would be possible to speak out publicly about my concerns, and he facilitated me and my fellow whistleblowers in doing so. He worked carefully with us to put as many of our concerns as possible in the public domain while protecting our anonymity, and after publication he arranged for us to appear on Newsnight, Dispatches, across BBC radio,ITV News, Channel 5 News, Good Morning Britain and be interviewed by the Sunday Times and Sunday Telegraph. This helped change the media narrative around the debate, providing voices from the inside who were challenging what was being said by those in charge at the school. Later he helped us give evidence to the various inquiries into what was going on, and enabled us to submit evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee.
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