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Are you in favour of religion in state schools?

(68 Posts)
seeker Tue 08-Sep-09 17:00:01

On the highly unscientific poll currently running, so far it's 50 posters in favour of secular schools and 4 against.

Would any of the people who are in favour like to tell me why?

We're not talking about learning ABOUT religion - Christian and other. I think most people are agreed that a knowledge of world religions is an essential part of a balanced education. We're talking about actually taking part in Christian worship during the school day. Asking non- Christian children to pray, for example.

jemart Tue 08-Sep-09 17:07:40

I see no harm in it - had assembly and prayers when I was at school, no problems. Those who were JW or other faiths who wanted to sit out would go wait in the classroom.

GypsyMoth Tue 08-Sep-09 17:09:32

i see no harm either.....does it even matter in the grand scheme of things?

seeker Tue 08-Sep-09 17:20:50

Would you be happy for your children to attend a black mass, or worship Gaia, or Thor the God of Thunder as part of their school day?

UnquietDad Tue 08-Sep-09 17:23:45

I would argue that "see no harm in it" is not a strongly active enough reason for having it. You have to take a step back from it and ask yourself: if it wasn't there, would it be necessary? As seeker indicates, there are other forms of "religious" practice which people might find as odd as some people find Christianity.

dogonpoints Tue 08-Sep-09 17:24:23

I'd prefer secular.

KembleTwins Tue 08-Sep-09 17:25:17

I don't think that organised religion, as you're describing it, has any place in school these days. I don't care if it's traditional, or if it "was like that when I was at school and never did me any harm..." etc etc.

Children should be taught about different religions, but I don't think that hymns and prayers in assemblies are necessary.

LaurieFairyCake Tue 08-Sep-09 17:25:43

There's only one thing I would keep in schools and that is some form of prayer (not a religious prayer) but some sort of 'mindfulness/thankfullness' prayer - prayer has really good effects on the brain and on general health.

UnquietDad Tue 08-Sep-09 17:28:30

No harm at all in having a "quiet thinking" time in assembly.

GypsyMoth Tue 08-Sep-09 17:28:45

well i actually don't tsee the if its not good enough then tough!!

i supposr if you're opposed then you search out a school which conforms to your standards/needs,no?

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 08-Sep-09 17:29:32

There are no secular schools, ILoveTIFFANY.

minko Tue 08-Sep-09 17:35:54

My DD is at our local state school. It is Catholic, we are not.
She got in as there was 2 spaces left after the Catholic intake. Our alternative was an OFSTED grade 4 school which was 95% Asian with most kids speaking English as a 2nd language. (We are also not Asian.)

Now I feel we made a mistake as she is really confused - all that belief and religion at school and none at home.

But we had no choice really without having to travel several miles to an alternative.

I really think it's ridiculous. In this day and age the true proportion of people to whom religion really matters is minimal so why does the church have such a tight hold on the schooling system!?

mumblechum Tue 08-Sep-09 17:37:04

No. Our ds had it forcefed as we had no choice but the local Church primary, but luckily none of it seems to have stuck

UnquietDad Tue 08-Sep-09 17:39:03

That's it minko - the influence is way out of proportion. Church attendance in the UK is 1-2 million. That sounds like a lot, but it's only 3% of the population. It's a legitimate minority interest, that's all. About the same number of people go to live football matches, but nobody calls for "football schools". 8m people watch Doctor Who, but we don't have Doctor Who schools.

gorionine Tue 08-Sep-09 17:41:10

Thanks for the link on other thread Oldladyknowsnothing! I do not know if you have the same choice if you go to a faith school, but my Dcs go to a state non denominal school and do not go to RE lessons, this is why I said that as long as ther is a choice I have nothing against faith schools. But I have been reminded that actually not everybody has a choice about which school they go to. I cannot think about any other reason than catchment area though, is there other reasons why parents have not got a choice and
HAVE to send their DCs to a faith school even if they do not want to?

LynetteScavo Tue 08-Sep-09 17:42:04

Dr Who schools would be ace.

gorionine Tue 08-Sep-09 17:42:48

x posted with minko. Your post was very informative to me , thank you!

LynetteScavo Tue 08-Sep-09 17:49:48

Now, I can't make up my mind of this.

I think state schools should be secular, especially village schools, or those with a catchment area.

But my DSs go to non-catchment Catholic schools, and I love that they pray a couple of times a day and are taken to the Church next door.

At their old school they prayed twice a day,a dn were taken to the local Anglican church. It wasn't a church school.

If I lived in a Muslim /Jewish/ Busdist country I would be happy for my child to pray to whoever the school though apropriate, as I belive there is only one God.

ZephirineDrouhin Tue 08-Sep-09 17:50:57

seeker, re the black mass/Thor etc, as long as the values contained within the religion are not in conflict with the liberal humanist values that most of us agree on, then I would be happy.

In my experience, at the core of Christian/Muslim/Jewish/Hindu/Buddhist teaching are exactly those values that we cherish in liberal humanism - respect, love, charity etc. So unless they start teaching our children in primary school that we should be burning witches or something, I really don't mind.

But state schools should not be allowed to select by religion.

PortAndLemon Tue 08-Sep-09 17:50:58


But DS would be whole-heartedly in favour of Dr Who schools.

minko Tue 08-Sep-09 17:52:14

Unquietdad - a woman after my own heart! I am going to be quoting you and your factoids quite a lot!

It really infuriates me, I feel like becoming a Suffragette for the cause sometimes - but then I'd jeopardise my son's chances of getting into the same school!

A friend of mine has recently started attending church and intends to get her kids christened Catholic just to get them a place. Crazy...

southeastastra Tue 08-Sep-09 17:53:35

my ds(8) likes the prayers at school, we did it too, i dunno.

doesn't worry me at all really

UnquietDad Tue 08-Sep-09 17:53:56

whispers: minko - I'm a chap. As the name suggests.

KembleTwins Tue 08-Sep-09 17:54:06

I want Dr Who schools.

lljkk Tue 08-Sep-09 17:54:42

My discomfort with the way DC are taught RE at school (ordinary community primary in England), is that in the early years at least, they accept it as fact. 1 + 1 = 2, A comes before B and Jesus was the most important man that ever lived. They assume that their teachers are telling them all this because they SHOULD believe.

I feel like I have to un-indoctrinate them, explain that only some people believe Jesus was important, that I don't believe he was divine myself, etc.

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