Friday, 20 September 2013

What people really think about faith schools

Updated Sunday

Completed in June by 4,018 people, the YouGov survey for the Westminster Faith Debates offers little comfort for either those who defend or those who oppose faith schools. It shows that:

  • Of those who express an opinion, a majority of people in GB are against state funding for faith schools, but for young people the reverse is the case
  • Parents don’t choose faith schools because of religion but because of academic standards
  • Christian faith schools have more support than non-Christian faith schools, especially amongst older people and those who are more insular/less cosmopolitan in their general outlook
  • Social class, gender, and political preference make little difference to opinion

There is a great deal more information in the press release about specific questions that were asked.

The full survey results from YouGov are available here.

There was also an appendix to the press release as received by email, which is not included elsewhere but which is reproduced below the fold.

Update
BRIN has now posted on this survey and their summary of key points is:

  • Only 32% believe the Government should fund faith schools generally, 18-24s being most supportive (43%), with 45% opposed, peaking at 57% in Scotland (where the existence of Catholic schools has often been a matter of controversy), and 23% undecided
  • Government funding of any type of faith school fails to find majority support, but opposition is notably lowest for Anglican schools (38%) and greatest for Islamic schools (60%) – hostility to Hindu and Jewish schools (59% and 55% respectively) is also high, but falls to 43% for Christian schools other than Anglican
  • Only 24% would choose a faith school for their own child, the proportion not exceeding 30% in any demographic sub-group, with 59% being unlikely to do so (peaking at 77% in Scotland)
  • Academic standards (77%), location (58%), and discipline record (41%) are the major factors in choice of school – just 5% attach importance to grounding of a pupil in a faith tradition and 3% to transmission of belief about God, and no more than 23% cite ethical values
  • A plurality (49%) finds it acceptable that faith schools should have admission policies which give preference to children and families who profess or practice the religion with which the school is associated (with 38% deeming it unacceptable, ranging from 31% of women to 51% of Scots)
  • Just 23% (never exceeding 28% in any demographic sub-group) agree that all faith schools should have to admit a proportion of pupils from a different religion or none at all, while 11% think it better for faith schools to admit pupils only of the same faith and 30% that schools should determine their own admissions policies

Appendix to press release:

Support for state funding broken down by type of school - of total population

State-supported ‘faith schools’ make up around a third of schools in Britain. Most are church schools (e.g. Church of England, Roman Catholic) and the rest (around 1
) are non-Christian (e.g. Jewish, Muslim, Hindu). Do you [think] the Government should or should not provide funding for the following faith schools?

Faith schools in general
The Government should provide funding for these 32
the Government should NOT provide funding for these 45
Don’t know 23

Catholic faith schools
The Government should provide funding for these 36
the Government should NOT provide funding for these 43
Don’t know 21

Church of England faith schools
The Government should provide funding for these 42
the Government should NOT provide funding for these 38
Don’t know 20

Other Christian faith schools
The Government should provide funding for these 34
the Government should NOT provide funding for these 43
Don’t know 22

Islamic faith schools
The Government should provide funding for these 19
the Government should NOT provide funding for these 60
Don’t know 22

Hindu faith schools
The Government should provide funding for these 19
the Government should NOT provide funding for these 59
Don’t know 22

Jewish faith schools
The Government should provide funding for these 22
the Government should NOT provide funding for these 55
Don’t know 23

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 20 September 2013 at 1:38pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: statistics
Comments

"those who are more insular/less cosmopolitan in their general outlook"

I see no good reason to treat those two expressions as synonymous. If anything the "metro-set" is one of the most blinkered, ignorant and even bigoted groups around.

Posted by: Dan on Friday, 20 September 2013 at 5:07pm BST
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