"On Monday the academies bill, a cornerstone of the Conservative manifesto (the one that people didn't vote for), was introduced directly into the House of Lords by a minister from the Liberal Democrats (a party that isn't in favour of academies)."The academy reforms are bad news for secularism, as they will lead to yet more involvement of organised religion in the schools system. With existing faith schools required to become "state-funded independent schools with a religious character" if they choose to become academies, and the possibility of non-faith schools acquiring religious sponsors and becoming religious academies, iInclusive community schools, free of religious discrimination, privilege or management, which should be the norm, could easily become the exception," says Copson.
And this is before we even turn to the fact that academies will not be required to follow the national curriculum. Copson is clear on the dangers that holds:
"Nothing in the new, deregulated system proposed by this bill would prohibit abstinence-based relationships education, or the teaching of creationism as a valid alternative to evolution, or the literal truth of a personal god."There's sure to be a lively comments thread under Copson's Comment is Free piece, so head over there, have a read, and get involved.