Monday, 3 March 2008

Faith schools favour middle class parents

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A story in yesterday's Observer confirmed suspicions that faith schools favour admitting children from wealthier backgrounds.

Rebecca Allen of London's Institute of Education has found that English faith schools "admit 10 per cent fewer poor pupils than is representative of the local area. Local authority schools, meanwhile, take in 30 per cent more and have a disproportionately deprived intake."

The statistics suggest that church schools are deliberately selecting children from middle class families, which helps to maintain their superior performance in league tables. Barry Sheerman MP, chair of the Children, Schools and Families select committee, said "It astonishes me that faith schools are so good at making sure they have fewer children."


foxydoctor said...

I cannot speak for all faith based schools, but many of the arguments addressed against them seem to be flawed or against peculiarties of a group of faith schools rather than faith schools as a whole.
I was from a single parent poorer familly and attended a C of E middle scool that did not select on the basis of accademic achievement, class or sectarian lines.
There was favour given on entry to children from practising chistian families (irrespective of denomination). As for the indoctrination argument, other faithes were taught about and no reigiuous input was seen in subjects outside of RE such as history and science.
It ssems to me that the comments needs to look at the fact behind the statitics. Irrespective of bleief parents who have some commited activity and known code of mroals (whether they are christian or atheist) will statitically have more imput in their children's education (whether their leaning is in church or a secular community activity). It is this as well as having some good teachers) that would obviously skew any schools achievement. Secular schools with no particular entrance criteria would be ecpected to have a greater proportion of parents who gave less support to their children.
I see questions about middle class slection being something that should be questioned accross both many non-faith and faith based schools. As for the inequilty that occurs through the existance of private shcools that is based largely on the ability to pay, surely this is a much bigger reason to jump up and down about a fairer education system for all?