18th January 2011

“The majority of parents do no agree with the existence of faith schools and yet the Government – known for its high proportion of believers – is about to create more. Parents want good schools, not religious schools.”

Keith Porteous Wood

7 Responses to “18th January 2011”

  1. GreatEighthSin Says:

    Hell, at this point, I’d be happy with having teachers that actually stand up at the front of the class and do the curriculum instead of them just flipping on a projector with the assignment details, then running off to their desks to play solitaire or work on coaching garbage.

  2. CaptainZero Says:

    I’ve heard something of this but I can’t say I’m well informed on the issue. Can someone in the UK fill us in on the particulars of this, please?

  3. reetBob Says:

    Captain. I went to a faith school in the UK, a Church of England school. For most people in the UK religion is a non-issue, people are just as likely to believe in tarot or horoscopes as God. The families at my school were no exception, they sent their children there because it was perceived as a better school and was in high demand.

    This was because the school could arbitrarily select better off, middle-class, white families, based on “religion”, and so get far better results in exams, where other non-religious schools are forced into a more egalitarian selection process.

    A couple of my friends have kids coming up to school age. Although they are non-believers they are going to church to get their children into a decent school.

    People sacrifice their principles, and their Sunday mornings, for their children’s education.

    I don’t really understand the political motivation behind encouraging faith schools, but i hope I explained why they’re in high demand. This is interesting http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-10791997

  4. Atheist MC Says:

    There is a long tradition of C of E and Catholic Schools in the U.K, partly because many of our foundational schools were run by the church. Also of course the Church is “established” in this country. It is an arm of government and represented in the House of Lords by the Lords Spiritual. We don’t have the separation of church and state protection the U.S constitution supplies.
    As reetBob says, these schools are often considered academically superior, but that is frequently an artefact of their ability to select which pupils they take.
    The current coalition government is promoting the idea of “Free Schools” which are

    ” all-ability state-funded schools set up in response to parental demand”

    In theory any interested body or group can apply to set these schools up, but in practice I suspect most interest will come from religious bodies hoping to isolate children from a secular education. I have written to my MP expressing concern at this idea and his assertion that concepts like Creationism will not be allowed to be taught at least gives me some hope the government will keep an eye on this.
    Altogether though I think it is a dangerous and potentially socially divisive idea and would rather it was dropped.

  5. CaptainZero Says:

    Thanks RB and MC. Here we have a free-school analog we call Charter Schools but of course they cannot be religious, thank god. I would like to see “Comparative Religion” made a required course. In my experience, when you examine religion in a more clinical way it becomes difficult to believe any particular one. Anyone second the notion?

  6. holysmokes Says:

    I’d have to agree Captain, so long as the teacher remains completely secular. This is unlikely at many schools when considering the number of christians in this country.

  7. reetBob Says:

    Yeah, I agree. The idea that religion is beyond criticism starts at school-age and younger. How do you foster an environment where curiosity is encouraged and criticism is not taboo? I’ve no idea but a secularized education system has to be a start.