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The Popularity of Faith Schools

Yesterday I caught the repeat of BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions. You can probably get it on iPlayer for the next few days.

On the panel was Christopher Jamison, a Catholic Priest. Read all about him here if you can bear it. During the question on Baroness Warsi’s recent remarks about being mean to Muslims being socially acceptable, he tried to argue that the best way to ensure that a minority becomes integrated and trusted is to fund their schools. At this point there was loud barracking from the audience and cries of “Shame”. I think only Eric Pickles defending the Government’s NHS plans got a more noisy response. Surveys have shown that the public at large do not like faith schools and don’t want any more of them. But all Governments see determined to push more of them on us.

When is a political party going to start reflecting the public view of this? Ed Miliband has his famous “blank piece of paper” and Nick Clegg will have to start making his policies look different from Tory ones at some point.

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  1. TreenonPoet
    23/01/2011 at 8:36 pm

    The Green Party of England and Wales, and the Scottish Green Party, oppose the state funding of ‘faith schools’. What their policy is on the mental abuse of children in privately funded schools I do not know. The three mainstream parties all support faith schools.

    None of the arguments that I have heard put forward in favour of faith schools are valid. There is a wider question of why the Government are allowed to get away with invalid arguments. Arguments which one might call ‘debatable’ are one thing; arguments that can be demonstrated to be invalid are another. If a constituent writes to his/her MP (as I have done) to highlight an invalid argument, it seems that there is no obligation for that MP to respond, nor to correct the error.

    In my opinion, religious indoctrination is the opposite of education, and so contravenes Article 2 of Protocol 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights, but I do not feel qualified to take this to court, even if I could afford to do so, and there must be a reason why no secularist body has attempted this.

    I live in a Conservative stronghold, and my Green vote is not much use. Perhaps this will change with electoral reform.

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