Monday, 10 September 2007

Government backs more faith schools

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The government has again reiterated its commitment to increasing the number of state-funded faith schools, releasing a joint statement with representatives from Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh and Hindu groups.

The British Humanist Association's Education Officer, Andrew Copson has condemned the statement, saying ‘To expand state-funded faith schools is to increase discrimination in school admissions against pupils and their parents and to increase employment discrimination against teachers. It means more pupils will be segregated by religion and ethnicity and denied the right to a fully balanced education or to school with children from different backgrounds and learn with and from them.'

Worryingly the schools secretary Ed Balls, speaking at the launch of the statement in London, pointed out that faith organisations had "a long and noble tradition" in education, from medieval times, through the Reformation, to the present day. Now, I'm no expert on faith schools circa 1500-1700, but I can't imagine they spent the Reformation promoting the "interaction between different faiths and communities" that the government so hopes to gain from its faith schools agenda.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

What next? Mormon schools? Reverend Moon schools? You name it.
Hugh Caldwell

LiberalHammer said...

From memory faith schools are a historical legacy, set up in the days before the big state that emerged after 1918. It is demonstrable nonsense to say that they will, in this day and age, promote inter-faith understanding. Only a secular school can do that. If no state faith schools exist then muslim, jewish, etc have no choice but to let their children mingle, play together and find out that the other isn't the demon they've read or heard about.

Cabalamat said...

Wouldn't it be better to call them by a more accurate name? Such as superstition schools or irrationality schools.