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Faith schools?

(141 Posts)
baba Sat 18-Feb-12 10:30:44

Why? How on earth can we expect children to appreciate differences in others if they are educated in a single faith school? Religion, faith or whatever is a matter for the family not the education system, unless of course, one wishes to perpetrate the isolation of particular groups. This doesn't square with our expressed desire for integration.
Or is it me?

gracesmum Sat 18-Feb-12 11:00:25

With all respect, baba, Church schools (as we used to call them - when did that change?) have provided excellent education for children for decades and I have no problem with that. From my experience, they do not ram religious dogma down the pupils' (should call them "students" now - even tinies )throats, but provide a tradition of respect, mutual consideration and that unfashionable concept - learning. As do many non-church schools. You only have to look at the GCSE and A level results of certain London day schools, I am thinking of the Hasmondean (sp?) as an example, of a centre of excellence, or at the other end of the spectrum our little village school which is a C of E school where the children are happy, well-adjusted and have lots of fun in their learning.
Why does the term "Faith" school sound alien to me while Cof E sounds cosy, small and traditional. Must be me.

Greatnan Sat 18-Feb-12 11:21:26

Integrated schools in Northern Ireland have proved their worth - there are still all too many children there who have never played with, or even spoken to, a child of the 'opposite' sect.
One of my grandchildren was told by her teacher in the local C of E school (the only one accessible in their village) that she was stupid for not believing in god. My daughter was the parent governor and managed to get a grovelling apology for this lack of respect. Fortunately, most church schools seem to confine themselves to some anodyne prayers and stories . The concept of a supreme intelligence is more than most adult brains can encompass, let alone a child, who will simply accept it as one more 'magic' entity, like Father Christmas and the tooth fairy. I would like to say that such schools do not do much damage, but I am afraid that my own catholic schooling inculcated a great deal of guilt and fear, which it took me a long time to overcome.
Non religious schools really should be available in every area, as it is impossible to withdraw a child completely from religious matters, but of course it would be far too expensive.
And please - no insulting suggestions that only Christianity can give children acceptable moral standards!

gracesmum Sat 18-Feb-12 13:18:04

Has anybody made any "insulting suggestions"?

Carol Sat 18-Feb-12 13:43:21

Acceptable moral standards are socially constructed and will vary between cultures. but everyone is born with an innate sense of right and wrong. It can be reinforced or extinguished by the way their teachers treat children, no matter what sort of school they go to. I would rather go to a faith school and be treated well than a state school and be dismissed, and vice versa.

I wouldn't assume that someone is going to treat me badly until I know for sure that they have, and I wouldn't treat them as if they were going to insult me unless I know for sure that they have.

bagitha Sat 18-Feb-12 13:57:20

Faith schools are state schools, paid for, largely, out of the public pocket. The state pays 85% of capital costs and the government says it is considering raising this to 90%. It also pays the teachers.

Greatnan Sat 18-Feb-12 16:05:24

I was told by David (now Lord) Hunt that my children would have no moral standards because we were atheists. My remark was mostly tongue in cheek, but I have been asked from where I derive my code of ethics on numerous occasions.

bagitha Sat 18-Feb-12 16:40:25

I think my cold must be getting better. What follows is from the highly entertaining Platitude of the Day,, May 2011

Martin Rees, who in case you haven't heard of him, is the Astronomer Royal and former president of the Royal Society, has been criticised for accepting this year's Templeton Prize. He has won the prize for his exceptional contribution to spirituality. Rees was asked why, as an atheist, he went to church.

"Well it's all part of tradition you see. We really do have the most splendid choir at Trinity, rated one of the best in the world and the chapel itself is very pretty. The clergy always dress up in the most splendid robes and sometimes they spread a lot of smoke around, which really adds to the atmosphere."

I think we can all see that Prof Rees is a most deserving winner given such an exceptional contribution to spirituality. His understanding of theology is clearly profound.

This is where so many of the shrill, loud and really not very attractive atheists get it all wrong. They keep wanting it all to make some sort of sense. It is, in fact, idle ritual, completely devoid of any real meaning. Once you grasp this essential reality, that it's just a community social occasion that makes no claims about anything in particular, many people are able to relax and enjoy the ambience that so many of our parish churches provide.

The Church really comes into its own at times of great joy or sadness. On the day when we commit ourselves to a future with our partner, or say goodbye to a loved one, what better way to do so than with a meaningless ritual conducted by a man in a dress.

Then we come to morality. Now there is, of course, no question that atheists can be just as moral as more holy people. No doubt about it. Hardly worth mentioning, but the Big Book of Magic Stuff Part II, is just full of stories about how to be moral that atheists don't learn about. This is why it is so important to send your children to Church schools. Naturally you will have to become a devout Christian to do this, but that is a small price to pay so that we can brainwash  introduce your children to the great traditions of the Church of England.

Once children have gotten used to all the pointless readings, strange hymns fully of empty words, and people talking vacuous nonsense, they will be fully prepared for a life that will continue to be enriched by paid clergy. Who knows, maybe one of your children will one day accept £1 million for making an exceptional contribution to spirituality.

Greatnan Sat 18-Feb-12 16:59:52

I like to listen to Thought for the Day on Today on Radio 4, at about 7.50 a.m. It is quite amusing the hear the chosen cleric trying to tie some article of news into a moral tract. I once wrote to John Humphreys and asked why they never had a humanist given their take on life, and he said he would welcome it but the producer wouldn't agree.

gracesmum Sat 18-Feb-12 20:21:34

One of my favourite contributors to Thought For The Day is/was LIonel Blue - do you object to him or just Christian contributors?

Greatnan Sat 18-Feb-12 20:33:03

I don't object to any of them - I just enjoy listening. It would be nice, though, if the non-believing philosophers were given a chance.

jeni Sat 18-Feb-12 20:35:00

I love rabbi blue. I think he is the bees knees!

Greatnan Sat 18-Feb-12 20:48:01

Yes, I like him too - I remember when he 'came out'.

bagitha Sat 18-Feb-12 21:51:36

He's never won either of the awards on Platitudes: The Clemmie (named after a guinea pig who had profound thoughts) and the POTY (Platitude of The Year), so I guess he doesn't get five stars very often. DH hopes he isn't unwell. He hasn't been on for a while.

jeni Sat 18-Feb-12 21:57:12

baggy! You are still around! I thought that cold must have shuffled you off this mortal coil, you've been so quiet. Also has Jings gone AWOL again?

bagitha Sat 18-Feb-12 22:04:00

Takes more than a stinking cold to shuffle me off anything. Mind you, I was a bit shuffly, as well as snuffly, yesterday. God knows where jings is. I think I need an exclamation mark after that, don't I? She'll turn up at some point with some mashed up name or other. wink

Anyway, I'm shuffling off to bed now. I wonder if my nose will bleed all over the bathroom floor again so that I have to put the dratted light on in the middle of the night instead of just going for a peaceful wee in the dark.

jeni Sat 18-Feb-12 22:20:08

I hope it comes off your bathroom floor better than my carpet!
Dormez bien ma vielle chere

whatisamashedupphrase Sat 18-Feb-12 23:11:31

"God knows where jings is"

No, Bags, you don't need an exclamation mark after that. smile It's just a simple statement of fact. smile Always. smile

whatisamashedupphrase Sat 18-Feb-12 23:12:48

Night night. God bless. x smile

glassortwo Sat 18-Feb-12 23:17:44

thought you had another change of name jingle wink

jeni Sat 18-Feb-12 23:23:38

Night night

Greatnan Sat 18-Feb-12 23:24:16

How do you manage to become two different persons on a forum - all of my expat forums won't accept more than one name from any e-mail address.
(Not that I want another name, I am very happy to be myself.)

jeni Sat 18-Feb-12 23:26:15


Greatnan Sat 18-Feb-12 23:37:23

Don't tell me she uses him for that as well!
Lional Blue is 81 and has Parkinson's Disease.

glassortwo Sat 18-Feb-12 23:42:25

I have lost the plot now, think its time for bed grin