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Project information

Humanism in schools project

This project will ensure that teachers are able to access trained volunteers to enable them to deliver unbiased and inclusive lessons for all children and young people to enable them to be successful learners, confident individuals, and responsible citizens.


Charity information: British Humanist Association

British Humanist Association logo
  • Need


    Many teachers, especially those who deliver personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE), citizenship, and religious education (RE), rely on external organisations and the expertise of volunteers to ensure that they deliver comprehensive lessons for their students. As well as this, all schools have to deliver 'spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, yet many teachers would value extra support for including non-religious perspectives.


    We are training expert volunteers to work directly with teachers to enable them to confidently develop and deliver high-quality lessons and assemblies that include Humanism and non-religious perspectives.

    We are creating high-quality resources, developed with teachers, trialled in the classroom, and linked to the curriculum and National Framework, and training and support for humanist school volunteers.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Improve the delivery of school assemblies so they are fully inclusive.


    » Providing schools easy access to trained humanist volunteers with the knowledge and confidence to talk about Humanism and a non-religious perspective.
    » Developing, trailing, and producing assembly information, guidance, and resources for volunteers and schools.
    » Working with other organisations in the RE community to promote the value of inclusive assemblies.

    What success will look like

    All schools can access free support and guidance for inclusive lessons and assemblies, information, resources and activities about Humanism.

    Aim 2

    To improve the quality of religious education by including non-religious perspectives.


    » Working with the RE community, SACREs, local authorities, and schools to pilot volunteer support in RE.
    » Developing, trialling and production of resources and activities for volunteers and teachers to use in the classroom.
    » Promotion of the availability of trained volunteers for schools at conferences and events, in publications, and through social media.

    What success will look like

    Development of a range of lesson materials, case studies, curriculum guidance documents, and classroom resources for schools.

    Aim 3

    To enable children and young people to have a broad and balanced, fully inclusive education.


    » Providing volunteer speakers representing Humanism and the non-religious, and promoting a secular state and equal treatment in law and policy
    » Developing a network of volunteers across England, Wales and Northern Ireland who are able to work in partnership with schools across a range of ages.
    » Work with MPs, press and media to ensure that the project has a wider impact

    What success will look like

    To work with Government and with the RE community to ensure ongoing support for the inclusion of Humanism within RE.

  • Impact


    The project will increase the confidence and competence of RE teachers to deliver difficult topics, give them a greater understanding of how Humanism can contribute to learning in a range of different subject areas, and offer them trained experts who can act as an extra resource in the classroom.

    For children and young people, the project will increase their knowledge and understanding of the community and the different beliefs of others (including those without a religion).


    There is a risk that schools will be slow to take up the offer of volunteers, and that trained volunteers will not have opportunities to work with schools immediately. However, our team of volunteers will be able to support the development of resources and materials for our Humanism for Schools website, and contribute to wider policy work.


    Donors to this project will receive an emailed report on the project that will detail successful activities and the impact it is having on classroom practice.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £45,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £17,500 Resource development Training, supply cover, consultancy
      £10,000 Design and printing Resource design and printing
      £10,000 Dissemination Events, mailings, and promotion
      £7,500 Project mangement Internal costs
  • Background


    The project will be delivered in schools across England and Wales. A good mix of urban and rural schools will participate and the project will include larger county councils as well as metropolitan councils.


    All children and young people, teachers, schools, local authorities, and the wider community.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The British Humanist Association is the leading national charity working on behalf of non-religious people who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. We promote Humanism, support and represent the non-religious, and promote a secular state and equal treatment in law and policy of everyone, regardless of religion or belief.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Lisa Rønsholt

    Head of Education will project manage this programme.

Training course for volunteers in Swindon

Training course for volunteers in Swindon


a training course for 25 volunteers

It was really interesting and useful to meet people from different faiths, particularly of the Bah'ai and Humanism groups.

Student at dialogue event on religions and beliefs