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Church schools should stop discriminating against teachers and pupils, say church leaders

(376 Posts)
edam Sat 30-Aug-08 09:40:59

This news story is interesting. New group of church leaders and 'secular figures' campaigning to stop religious schools discriminating against non-religious families and staff, or those from the 'wrong' denomination.

(I have looked to see if there's a thread on this already but couldn't find one.)

BrummieOnTheRun Sun 31-Aug-08 13:01:28

Last year, nearly a third of our local primary school places were C of E or RC controlled.

Non-C of E and non-RC kids (who weren't eligible for entry to the schools on their doorstep) were being offered places at schools across town.

I don't have an issue with faith schools, but if they want to control their admissions criteria based on faith then they should be privately funded.

If they want state funding, any parent/child who agrees to abide by their ethos should be considered on an equal basis to any other child, regardless of faith.

IorekByrnison Mon 01-Sep-08 10:10:22

Totally agree, Brummie.

Very glad this is being said, although doubt anything will be done about it. Have been ranting about this on here for ages...

notagrannyyet Mon 01-Sep-08 11:19:24

My DD is a primary teacher. She worked for nearly 2 years doing supply in London. She worked for a whole year teaching a year 4 class at a RC school and got on very well with the head, staff and parents (and children!). She was really happy at the school so when a full time permanent post came up she asked for an application form. When the head heard she intended to apply she called her in for a chat.
She said DD was an excellent teacher and had done wonders with Yr4 but there was no point in her going for the permanent post because the governors would only employ a roman catholic and DD is CofE. DD was very surprised as RE was not taught by class teachers but by nuns and priests.
HT did give DD a glowing reference and she managed get another post. Strangely this was in another RC primary where she has to teach RE.
Family members are/have been on interview panels for our local CofE school and I'm certain they would never have discriminated against a RC applicant.

BrummieOnTheRun Mon 01-Sep-08 12:43:01

This seems to be the only area in which religious discrimination is openly practised.

Not only is it uncriticised, it's actively endorsed by the government.

But then they would, wouldn't they? The church is bailing them out of the schools crisis by giving middle class families an alternative to failing inner city schools without resorting to the (right wing) private sector or academic selection.

FAQ Mon 01-Sep-08 12:48:16

hmm - interesting that the article says "religious" figures - and the chairman is a Jew - yet the thread title says "church" schools.

cestlavie Mon 01-Sep-08 13:04:38

Quote from the NUT in this article: "All children - regardless of their religion, culture, and family income - should have equal access to the best possible education in a good local school."

Couldn't agree more.

spokette Mon 01-Sep-08 13:11:26

"All children - regardless of their religion, culture, and family income - should have equal access to the best possible education in a good local school."

So why do grammar schools still persist in some areas? If we are going to bash church schools, lets also bash other selective schools!

AtheneNoctua Mon 01-Sep-08 16:52:14

But, the whole idea of a church school is to send your kid to school with peers of the same religeon. Okay, maybe not the whole idea, but a big part of it certainly.

I f I belong to religeon x and I'm raising my kid in religeon x but the religeon x is full of kids from religeon y, how much religeon x is my kid really going to get from the religeon y peers. Not a lot.

TeacherSaysSo Mon 01-Sep-08 17:09:39

spokette grammar is an entirely different issue. That's about streaming kids on THEIR ability early, and some people agree its better for the kids some don't.

However religious discrimination is not about selecting on their performance but on their PARENTS religious belief only!!!outrageous.

TeacherSaysSo Mon 01-Sep-08 17:12:40

hmm athene kids don't get religion fron their peers but from their elders. Why on earth do you want them to live in such a monoculture? are you worried they might like someone else's beliefs more than yours?

sheeesh talk about brainwashing!!!

(once they hit the real world at 18 they'll be in for a shock!)

CountessDracula Mon 01-Sep-08 17:14:37

If you are religion X then take them to church x on a sunday and say your prayers at home

I don't see why education and religion should be intertwined. It results in discrimination IMO.

CountessDracula Mon 01-Sep-08 17:15:35

or pay yourself to send them to be brainwashed taught as you want. Don't expect the taxpayer to fund your personal choice.

CountessDracula Mon 01-Sep-08 17:16:11

(I must say teh Catholic church are in my good books today for the first time ever)

Dogsby Mon 01-Sep-08 17:16:12

i agree

unclefluffy Mon 01-Sep-08 17:27:43

I'm sure I've seen this issue discussed before and I agree completely with Brummie. Just had an interesting thought though...
(1) Catchment areas allow richer parents to buy in to good schools buy buying more expensive homes in the catchment area.
(2) Testing for religiosity allows any parent willing to invest time and lie to a religious official to buy in to good schools.
(3) Religious schools therefore have better equality of access than community schools.

I think this argument is balls, by the way. In the real world, it's mostly richer parents who have the time/knowledge for this kind of reigious deception. And I object to paying for discrimination by belief or otherwise in a particular incarnation of an imaginary friend. Actually, on the grammar school issue, I'm not that keen on paying for discrimination by testing at 11 either. I'd rather streaming took place within one school building - more chance of mobility when it's needed. But let's fix one thing at a time.

daftpunk Mon 01-Sep-08 17:29:49

my children go to a catholic school. it is over subscribed, really hard to get into etc etc. we needed a priest's reference to get in.

i would be totally against non-catholics getting into our school.

cestlavie Mon 01-Sep-08 17:37:14

I am curious, actually, given that we live in a secular society what the justification is for faith schools in the first place? But I suspect that is a whole other can of worms!

CountessDracula Mon 01-Sep-08 17:41:20

"our school" daftpunk hmm

I think you will find that 90% of the cost of the school is funded by the taxpayer. Not the church.

Unless you pay privately of course in which case I couldn't give a toss!

daftpunk Mon 01-Sep-08 17:46:41

all parents are asked to pay a monthly amount..it is voluntry, but most parents (that i know) pay.

it is completely wrong that a non-catholic child should be admitted before a catholic child, regardless of whether i have to pay or not! it's a catholic school.

cestlavie Mon 01-Sep-08 17:54:28

Hmmm, daftpunk. I think CD's question wasn't so much why should non-catholics be allowed into a catholic school but rather why should be even allow catholic schools in the first place?

daftpunk Mon 01-Sep-08 18:04:38

well, cestlavie..i don't have the answer to everything do i? it wasn't my idea to start the whole faith school system, i'm just trying to cook some sausages here.

slug Mon 01-Sep-08 18:26:02

See daftpunk, the problem comes if you are not religious. Take my situatuion for example. The five closest schools to where I live are religious. Then there is the lovely oversubscribed state school and the sink estate school. What choice is there for me? People like you don't want my child in your school so Im forced to queue for the only school in the area that will take my child. You, on the other hand, have the choice of applying for the state school as well. Yet my taxes pay for the schools that won't let my child in because she is tainted with the whiff of athesism.

Hardly fair is it?

daftpunk Mon 01-Sep-08 18:53:19

slug. it's completely fair. i take my child to church every sunday, i commit to a religion. i want that religion to continue into my childs school life. i would have no problem with your child attending my school if not enough catholics wanted the places.

yes, i could have sent my child to one of 4 schools in my area, and fwiw, two of the non faith schools come out better in the league tables than our catholic school.

i know that doesn't answer your problem, but as i said earlier, i don't have all the answers.

AtheneNoctua Mon 01-Sep-08 18:54:06

CD, your way (which I assume is selection by distance from school) results in descrimination by wealth, which seems to go against every other financial/political debate I have ever had with you.

If we didn't have a state religeon I could understand the objection to the state funding it's relgeon. But since it's the Church of England, I can't really understand why people are shocked that it is funded by the taxpayers of England.

Now, for people who live in the coutry where there is no other choice of school, I can understand their complain. But in West London where you next closest school 3 blocks in the other direction, well, no I can't drum up much sympathy.

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