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School becoming increasingly religious alongside loss of staff...

(173 Posts)
Atheistmum Wed 21-Feb-18 16:47:32

NC for this as the details will be potentially outing.

So both my DC ages 6 and 10 attend a local state C of E primary school.

We have only two schools in the small town in which we live, the large C of E and another small Catholic one. Having been educated through the Catholic school system Myself, I was keen to avoid a ‘faith’ education for my kids however we have no secular option in this town or indeed in any of the local smaller surrounding towns and villages. So we were stuck with opting for the educationally ‘outstanding’ C of E school.

Until recently all has been well, the expected low level religious the,es woven in, however a new head was appointed about a year ago, and since then 6 or 7 members of staff have left including the deputy and assistant head and another Head of year all put down to ‘ people moving on to further their careers’.

In this time there has also been an increasing religious emphahsis underpinning an awful lot of what is done at the school, All assemblies are now religious based, local vicar comes in to school multiple times per week to teach, both of my kids come home singing what sound like evangelical christian songs!!

My eldest told me about a lesson wherby a picture of a sign was put up in class with a list of many faiths all pointing the ‘wrong’ way and only christianity pointing the ‘right’ way, he was actively concerned about this as there are kids of others faiths who have no choice but to attend the school!

Now my AIBU is basically aibu to email concerns about this, who to and how can I word it? I realise that the school is controlled to a certain extent by the church ( i fundamentally disagree with schools being used to indoctrinate young people but given we have no other option I am stuck with this) and l can live with it if its just about learning about and participating in mainstream stuff like easter, harvest festival, nativity etc however more and more of the kids learning is being based on religious content and I am really uncomfortable with this.

The head himself is obviously a deeply religious man and I am concerned that he is using the school to further his agenda.

TheSnowFairy Wed 21-Feb-18 16:50:47

It's a Christian school - if you disagree with its teaching you should move your children to another school.

Atheistmum Wed 21-Feb-18 16:52:02

Snow fairy did you not read my post, there is no secular school available withon a commutable distnace until DC get to secondary.

Bluedoglead Wed 21-Feb-18 16:52:07

Church if England school pushes its particular brand of religion .

It’s a shocker.

TeenTimesTwo Wed 21-Feb-18 16:54:03

Snow Did you not read the OP where it says there aren't any non faith schools in her area?

Nikephorus Wed 21-Feb-18 16:54:24

a picture of a sign was put up in class with a list of many faiths all pointing the ‘wrong’ way and only christianity pointing the ‘right’ way,
I doubt this given that the main faiths share points of commonality. And as SnowFairy said, it's a CofE school - they get to teach about Christianity if they want.

hesterton Wed 21-Feb-18 16:54:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheSnowFairy Wed 21-Feb-18 16:54:37

atheist yep - you'll need to move them to another school in another place.

Or leave them where they are and agree to disagree with the HT's methods.

hesterton Wed 21-Feb-18 16:55:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Nikephorus Wed 21-Feb-18 16:55:33

That's irrelevant Teen, it's a CofE school - it's up to them what they teach. If OP doesn't like it then she needs to find a school further away.

Elementtree Wed 21-Feb-18 16:56:34

My eldest told me about a lesson wherby a picture of a sign was put up in class with a list of many faiths all pointing the ‘wrong’ way and only christianity pointing the ‘right’ way

Yes, what did you expect, religious tolerance in your state funded schooling with no local alternative? Huh? Huh?

Atheistmum Wed 21-Feb-18 16:59:42

Just to clarify this school is STATE funded, it recoeves a small voluntary contribution from ththe church which to my mind should not ‘buy’ it the rights over my childrens minds!! Luckily both of my DC question and seem to have scientific minds however my main concern is for those who are fored to attend a faith C of E school when they themselves are not christian. Also the loss of excellent teaching staff!!!!

Bluedoglead Wed 21-Feb-18 17:00:45

It’s a religious school, funded by a religion. If you don’t like it, move your child. It’s not any different to sending your child to a catholic school and complaining that they do mass and teach the catholic view point.

Your other option is to send them to a different school or home school.

TeenTimesTwo Wed 21-Feb-18 17:01:10

I disagree Nike . I don't think it is unreasonable to want a state school within a reasonable distance that doesn't go OTT on pushing Christianity.

It is all well and good in an area with a variety of options to say move schools, but not when all the local schools are faith schools. In that situation the LA should be ensuring (how, no idea) there is an 'inclusive' option available.

Bluedoglead Wed 21-Feb-18 17:01:26

It’s a CofE school. The clue is in the name. confused

TheSnowFairy Wed 21-Feb-18 17:03:00

a new head was appointed about a year ago, and since then 6 or 7 members of staff have left including the deputy and assistant head and another Head of year all put down to ‘ people moving on to further their careers’.

But how do you know that they have gone due to the religious beliefs of the HT? It is very possible they really have moved to further their careers.

Notevilstepmother Wed 21-Feb-18 17:03:30

It’s not appropriate to have a state funded school telling children their religion is right and the others are wrong. That isn’t tolerant.

expertonnothing Wed 21-Feb-18 17:03:30

You sent your child to a C of E school and you're complaining that it's now too religious for you?

I understand that it was either that or a catholic school but If if you're not happy then think about moving house to an area where there is a non denominational school.

The C if E school are practicing what they preach...perhaps you should too?

daffodildelight Wed 21-Feb-18 17:03:36

Overall they are probably getting a balanced view - I imagine you teach them the athiest view-point and encourage them not to be religious, School teaches them the other point of view, so between school and home they get both sides of the argument and can decide for themselves.
Most children will believe what their parents say anyway especially as they spend much more time with their parents so I wouldn't worry too much.
Besides Christian values - love your neighbour, think of others, serve the community, turn the other cheek - these are good values to have.

Atheistmum Wed 21-Feb-18 17:03:55

Bluedog why on earth should I home school just because the state school is C of E?? I am assuming you are a Christian who is more than happy with the status quo then.

Surely every child should surely have access to a secular education, a real choice then, or do you believe that it is right that people are forced to send their kids to religious schools as the state has not provided alternatives?

UpstartCrow Wed 21-Feb-18 17:04:49

The religious intolerance would concerne me.

Neolara Wed 21-Feb-18 17:05:01

Even if it is a church school, legally they need to promote mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths. ( It's part of promoting "British values".) If they really did show a poster suggesting that Christianity is the "one true faith", it is highly inappropriate and would be in breach of their legal responsibilities and I would consider making a formal complaint, following the procedure set out in the complaints policy which should be on the website. Just because they are a Christian school does not mean they are allowed to denigrate other religion's.

DGRossetti Wed 21-Feb-18 17:05:40

Just to clarify this school is STATE funded

so it's teaching the state religion. To be honest, it would be odd if it didn't ?

Atheistmum Wed 21-Feb-18 17:07:16

Im genuinelt interest3 in hearing from parents who are practising christians and happily send their kids to faith schools, if that school wer somsrhow to be ‘taken over’ by another, quite different religion, would you still maintain that it is fair and that thr onus would be on you to find an alternative (even if there was no alternative, it just didnt exist as in our case).

How would you then feel about having to send your child to a school which was focussing more and more on the religious teachings of a faith you did not believe in??

Bluedoglead Wed 21-Feb-18 17:07:50

I am an atheist.

Every school in the Uk has to have a broadly Christian act of daily worship.

I chose to send my children to a state school that wasn’t CofE or catholic in ethos. And I opted them out of RE.

carry on in your assumptions though.

They didn’t go to the closest school (4miles away) because of its religious ethos. They went to a further away school and I beggared myself to get them there every day. And it was hard for me -I have a large age gap, and two children with significant challenges.

So, in other words, you are wrong I assuming.

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