Judge throws out secular campaign group's 'artificial' court case against Catholic schools

Justice Lambert - image Twitter

Justice Lambert - image Twitter

Secular campaign group, Humanists UK, has lost their appeal to launch Judicial Review proceedings against the Catholic Church.

The proceedings were brought against the Catholic Education Service by the anti-Catholic school group, who wrongly claimed that rules which give priority to Catholics for senior positions in Catholic schools were contrary to EU legislation.

The Rt Hon Lord Justice Flaux upheld the original ruling by Mrs Justice Christina Lambert of the High Court describing her decision as 'unimpeachable'.

Mrs Justice Lambert, from her ruling in October 2018, described Humanists UK's arguments as having a certain 'artificiality' before dismissing the case for a Judicial Review.

This is the third hearing on which Humanists UK have challenged the CES in court on this point and is the third time they have been defeated. After each ruling they questioned the judgement of the court however, they cannot appeal this decision.

At present, teachers do not have to be Catholic to work in a Catholic school. In fact, half of teachers in Catholic schools are not of the faith. Nevertheless, in order to preserve the ethos and mission of Catholic schools, the Church asks that senior leaders come from the Catholic community.

Paul Barber, Director of the Catholic Education Service commented: "Lord Justice Flaux's ruling is highly significant and extremely welcome.

"The policies on the employment of Catholic leaders is about ensuring that the Catholic vision, mission and ethos are at the front and centre of a school's life as parents have a right to expect.

"Catholic leadership is essential in maintaining what makes and keeps a Catholic school Catholic as well as providing strong leadership in both the school and the local Catholic community.

"This is the third time Humanists UK have attacked Catholic schools in court and is the third time they have been defeated. Mrs Justice Lambert's unimpeachable ruling was clear about the artificiality of their claim, stating that it was the Secretary of State for Education, not the CES who should be the focus of this campaign group's activity.

"The CES will continue to fight on behalf of the Catholic community, defending what keeps Catholic schools special and what makes them some of the most popular and high performing schools in the country."

There are 2122 Catholic schools in England. 48,072 teachers work in Catholic schools in England. 50% of teachers are of the Catholic faith. Catholic schools outperform the national average at KS2, GCSE and Ofsted.

Tags: Paul Barber, CES, Education, Humanist, Justice Flaux , Justice Lambert, Justice Christina Lambert

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