Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Dawkins's faith school documentary on More4 tonight

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In case you didn't know already, Richard Dawkins has been working on a documentary entitled Faith School Menace?, which is broadcast tonight at 9pm on More4. Here's the official blurb:
"The number of faith schools in Britain is rising. Around 7,000 publicly-funded schools - one in three - now has a religious affiliation.

As the coalition government paves the way for more faith-based education by promoting 'free schools', the renowned atheist and evolutionary biologist Professor Richard Dawkins says enough is enough.

In this passionately argued film, Dawkins calls on us to reconsider the consequences of faith education, which, he argues, bamboozles parents and indoctrinates and divides children.

The film features robust exchanges with former Secretary of State for Education Charles Clarke, Head of the Church of England Education Service Reverend Janina Ainsworth, and the Chair of the Association of Muslim Schools, Dr Mohammed Mukadam.

It also features insights from child psychologists and key players in faith education as well as insights from both parents and pupils.

Dawkins also draws on his own personal history as a father, arguing that the government must stop funding new faith schools, and urges society to respect a child's right to freedom of belief."
Apparently there's an interview with Dawkins about this in The Times today. Of course, the Times paywall means I can't link to it or read it myself without going out to buy a copy (for the record, I'm not having a go at them – my views on that matter are undecided), but the folks at eChurch Christian Blog have a few lines from the interview. Perhaps most interesting is what Dawkins has to say on the subject of non-religious parents who go along with the system in order to send their kids to faith schools, which are often perceived as the best in a local area. It more or less sums up my view on faith schools:
“I don’t want to cast any blame on them. It’s hypocrisy that is imposed on them by a ridiculous and unjust system. It’s something that taxpayers shouldn’t be tolerating.”
Presumably the documentary will be available to watch online on demand if you miss it tonight.
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