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Are 'faith schools' more or less divisive than Grammar and Independent schools

(85 Posts)
zanzibarmum Thu 11-Jun-09 23:25:06

Accord 'research' says faith schools are divisive (there's a surprise coming from them). Are they - more or less so than GS or public schools

TheUnstrungHarp Fri 12-Jun-09 00:03:33

Not sure if they are as divisive as grammar/independent, but they are divisive. They don't need to be - if they were forced to abide by the same rules on admissions as community schools there would be no problem. But it is not right that children should be excluded from state funded schools simply because of their parents' religious beliefs or lack of them.

seeker Fri 12-Jun-09 06:20:10

I don't know (but I'll have a think) whether they are more or less divisive. However, any system in which a child cannot get a place at their nearest secondary school for whatever reason is divisive and should be abolished.

seeker Fri 12-Jun-09 06:22:15

Actually,in an ideal world there wouldn't be a choice - your nearest Secondary school would be where you go. Ditto primary school.

<seeker stand on soap box and thumps her tub>

skidoodle Fri 12-Jun-09 06:39:27

Come to northern Ireland and see the pernicious effects of religiously segregated education. It's not a pretty sight.

snorkle Fri 12-Jun-09 08:42:18

I suspect as always that some are and some aren't. There are faith schools that aside from the religeous divide are very socially divided too (because of their catchment & middle class nature of their faith) and these are probably worse than many grammars and independents. Conversely, there are some that actively take people from outside their faith, have a wide social mix and are less divisive.

skidoodle Fri 12-Jun-09 08:57:19

It is divisive by definition to divide people on the basis of religion.

BonsoirAnna Fri 12-Jun-09 09:03:09

All schools are divisive. Even when you have a "catchment area" system that has no exceptions, the catchment areas are divisive by virtue of the community they are placed in. Unless we decided to pull down all the houses in the land and house everyone in identikit accommodation... pay everyone the same wages...

Communism, anyone?

BonsoirAnna Fri 12-Jun-09 09:04:57

"Actually,in an ideal world there wouldn't be a choice - your nearest Secondary school would be where you go. Ditto primary school."

Please explain why this scenario is "ideal" sso that (as someone living within a system tthat at least tries to do this) I can destroy your arguments one by one grin.

<<voice of experience>>

BodenGroupie Fri 12-Jun-09 09:46:20

Anna, couldn't have put it better myself.

TheUnstrungHarp Fri 12-Jun-09 10:14:38

It's true that the way in which house prices are affected by catchment areas is a cause of division. But this is a very difficult problem to unravel. Abolishing special admission criteria for faith schools would be a relatively simple move towards fairness. I also think abolishing league tables might help too, as they surely fuel this manic drive amongst those with the resources to do so to get their children into the "best" schools.

BonsoirAnna Fri 12-Jun-09 10:31:26

"But this is a very difficult problem to unravel."

No - not "very difficult". Impossible.

TheUnstrungHarp Fri 12-Jun-09 10:40:36

Well, there are always lotteries if people could stomach them.

wasabipeanut Fri 12-Jun-09 10:49:17

I don't think people could stomach lotteries - the govt obviously agree which is why it sacked the idea of introducing them further.

zanzibarmum Fri 12-Jun-09 16:19:38

snorkle - what's a "middle class" faith;

TheUnstrungharp - surely the new admissions code, the new school's adudicator powers + the Ombudsman means school entry criteria have never been "fairer". If you go further you might as well have all schools run centrally by the government to avoid differences between LAs - and then I think you'd get a whole host of other problems/unintended consequences

TheUnstrungHarp Fri 12-Jun-09 16:36:57

zanzibar - what is the new admissions code? Presumably it is still the case that faith schools are able to choose children on the basis of church attendance?

BonsoirAnna Fri 12-Jun-09 17:06:53

Apart from anything else, lotteries create huge (insurmountable) transport headaches/costs.

oodlesofpoodles Fri 12-Jun-09 17:18:47

I wanted my dcs to go to the nearest Catholic school because I didn't want them to be the only non white children in the school (had racial probs at toddler group). From that pov the Catholic school is more inclusive than the catchment school. That wouldn't happen in a more multi ethnic area though.

TheUnstrungHarp Fri 12-Jun-09 17:19:49

Have just had a look at the Accord website. Thoroughly agree with the Rabbi.

TheUnstrungHarp Fri 12-Jun-09 17:48:13

Anna, do you have any suggestions as to how social division in schools might be reduced? Or you happy with the status quo?

snorkle Fri 12-Jun-09 18:54:42

zanzibarmum, it's long been noted that faith schools attract fewer working class pupils than they should, presumably as the faiths have fewer working class members.

see here and here for example.

I seem to remember that CofE is supposed to be worse than Catholic in this regard.

Quattrocento Fri 12-Jun-09 18:57:49

Of course they are divisive. Grammar schools divide the intelligent from the less intelligent, independent schools divide the wealthy from the less wealthy and faith schools divide on faith lines. I think all these things are damaging to the wellbeing of a multicultural society as a whole - in theory - but feel free to call me a hypocrite as I send the dcs to an independent school.

5Foot5 Fri 12-Jun-09 21:07:26

But how many faith schools actually exclude people from a different, or no, faith?

DD is at a Catholic secondary and went to a Catholic primary. Both schools accept children who are non-Catholics, though when places are allocated children who are Catholics get first priority.

There are children in her class who are CofE and at her primary in year 6 one of her best friends was a Muslim girl. Doesn't seem very divisive to me...

oodlesofpoodles Fri 12-Jun-09 21:20:54

I would think that Catholic schools vary quite a lot dependiong on the area. Ours is semi rural and under subscribed therefore lots of Catholics (obv) plus non Catholic religious people who would rather have a Catholic school than a non faith school, plus people who have chosen based on ofstead or location. There are a mix of working class (Catholics and non Catholics) due to school being in the middle of a large council estate, plus lots of middle class (Catholics and non Catholics) who come from further away but chose the school for either religious, social or academic reasons. If it was oversubscribed then I imagine it would only have Catholics from whatever socio-economic group lived closest.

Concordia Fri 12-Jun-09 21:26:34

I live in an area where there are many failing schools adn a shortage of school places. at least at the moment as the birth rate was high 3/4/5 years ago. So non-Catholics can't get into catholic schools, meaing only catholics get good education in some areas. I think faith schools are divisive but then so are grammars.

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