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3 Responses

  1. Nathan says:

    Who is asking for faith schools? Where is the demand coming from?

  2. MarkAaron says:

    Not wanting to appear as a militant humanist, but I hope that in time, Faith Schools will come to be regarded as a form of abuse.

  3. Margaret says:

    If you read the article I’ve provided a link to, you’ll see a bit of the history. The development of faith schools over the last decade or so has been in response to the Government’s commitment to ‘multiculturalism’, mainly while Blair was in office, and the demands of religious organisations other than the Christians, along the lines of “If the Church can have schools, so should we.” As many Labour MPs depended on Muslim votes, they were keen to be seen supporting these claims.

    Hazel Blears was very keen on “faith” and “multiculturalism”, often swallowing the fallacies she was fed and regurgitating them in a sickeningly deferential way.

    Hanne Stinson from the BHA spoke about it in Turin 2 years ago.

    The NSS is totally opposed to faith schools at public expense, while the BHA is involved with Accord, which takes a more conciliatory position.

    The Guardian provided some statistics in 2001 but there are many more now, since the Academy programme‘s taken off. It allows  a variety of organisations, including religious ones, to take over control of schools while contributing only a small proportion of the costs.

    Who wants them? C of E and some Catholic schools have had good Ofsted reports, attracting lots of parents who’ve posed as religious people to get their kids into them. However, there’s plenty of evidence that these schools have been selective, thought they’re not supposed to be. One of their characteristics is the low number of kids who’re eligible for free school meals. They don’t accept any old riff-raff. It’s suited the champions of faith schools to claim that their faith is the reason they have a good school ethos, but this is nonsense. It’s also very insulting to those schools who have a strong ethos without faith. The ATL’s among teachers’ unions that opposes them.

    Various research findings have shown that only a minority think faith schools are a good idea, but the minority that do are vocal. Having got itself into its pro-faith school position, the Government has back-tracked a bit since Blair left, but it would find it very difficult to reverse the trend now as it’s been a piece-meal process without any joined-up thinking. The Tories have been keen to reassure pro-faith schools people that they’re no threat to the status quo, and the Lib Dems, disappointingly, have fudged the issue.


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