More on faith schools

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Following my piece on Sunday, I’ve written another article on faith schools over on Comment is Free:

It is a shame that the supporters of faith schools lack the faith that their ethos could survive a few children of atheists running around the playground. Ultimately, society as a whole is the weaker for indulging their insecurity.

One thought on “More on faith schools

  1. You write

    “It is a shame that the supporters of faith schools lack the faith that their ethos could survive a few children of atheists running around the playground.”

    Who has made this claim? I haven’t. Nowhere in anything I wrote did I write about “a few”. My argument that the abolition of faith as an element in admission could effectively destroy faith schools is on the basis that in theory the number of applicants who do not have that faith could outnumber the numbers who do. If people go to the desperate lengths of pretension you describe in order to get places in a faith school, I should think that very likely.

    At what point to the teachers in the faith school give up saying prayers or whatever in the grounds “look – this is a farce, you don’t want us to do it, we don’t want to do it, we only do it because it used to be the case that the parents who sent their children to us wanted us to do it”?

    Does this happen when half the applicants and hence half the pupils are not of that faith, or two third or what? Which is also the point when half or two-thirds of those parents who did want those prayers etc have their children excluded from the school if the number of places in the school is roughly equal to the number who want that sort of school, as it should be. It seems to me that destroys the point of the school since it is no longer providing the service it was set up to provide – those who want the prayers etc aren’t getting them, those who are getting them don’t want them.

    I only raise it as something that could happen, and since you don’t seem to have got the message I don’t mean when the numbers are “a few”. I will repeat that again – the case I am making is NOT when the number of non-faith adherents in the school is “a few”.

    Regarding homosexuality, I do not remember being told it was “a sin” when I was in a Catholic school, nor have I seen material in Catholic schools more recently which says that. My experience is that teachers in Catholic schools tend to be at the liberal end of the religion and would not say things like that. One of the reasons I am in favour of faith schools is that I suspect the sort of person who would teach in a private Sunday school would be much more likely to be a religious conservative who would say things like that. I am not saying it doesn’t happen, I am relying only on personal experience, but questioning how general this attitude is.

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