Monday, 15 June 2015

Religion and Belief in Schools


The Westminster Faith Debates today release A New Settlement: Religion and Belief in Schools by Charles Clarke, the former education secretary, and Linda Woodhead, professor of sociology of religion at Lancaster University.

Press reports include:

Barney Thompson Financial Times Call to overhaul religious education in schools

Richard Garner Independent Schools told to end religious instruction and teach morality instead

Press Association in The Guardian Scrap compulsory worship in schools, says former education secretary
The Guardian editorial The Guardian view on religious education in schools: don’t trash it, transform it

Javier Espinoza Telegraph It’s time to end compulsory daily worship in schools, says Clarke

Ruth Gledhill Christian Today Abolish religious assemblies in schools, says new report

Sean Coughlan BBC News Call to end compulsory worship in schools

Charles Clarke was interviewed on the BBC Radio4 Today programme this morning, starting at 02hr 54min.

The Church of England has issued this Statement on RE and collective worship, apparently in response to the paper, although since it fails to mention either the pamphlet or its authors it could be a complete coincidence.


Rev Nigel Genders, Church of England Chief Education Officer RE must not be downgraded

Posted by Peter Owen on Monday, 15 June 2015 at 11:37am BST | TrackBack
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
Categorised as: Church of England | religious education

In my opinion, and as a teacher of over 20 years, I think faith allegiances should be entirely separated from the governance of state-funded schools.

I am opposed to faith schools of all kinds.

If any church or mosque wants to run a school, they should fund it themselves.

Ideally, faith gets taught in churches and mosques and other religious centres. Faith and morality and spirituality can still be studied in schools, without any of the governance and oversight that links schools to one specific religious tradition in a society of multiple religions as well as agnosticism and atheism.

As a Christian teacher, I *never* proselytised pupils, and I believe schools should be places which are open playing fields where children can explore their views, feelings, wonders, and social values... entirely free of any oversight or identity aligned with a particular faith.

Posted by: Susannah Clark on Monday, 15 June 2015 at 5:57pm BST

As a PP I agree entirely with Susannah Clark.

Posted by: Fr William on Monday, 15 June 2015 at 9:35pm BST

What is it that makes Church Schools so popular and so successful? I would suggest that it is the Christian ethos and the inclusion of worship that make them so. In my opinion Church Schools are "simply the best".

Posted by: Father David on Tuesday, 16 June 2015 at 5:37am BST

Susannah and Fr William, others I'm sure will correct me if I'm wrong, but my reading of the history of schools education is that churches did precisely what your advocating - before the state became heavily involved in mass education it was churches who set up schools for the benefit of the local communities.

It was when the schooling system was effectively nationalised with the establishment of board schools that a deal/ partnership was struck between state and church, with VC, VA and C of E foundations being set up. Rather than set up unnecessary and less unpopular 'rival' schools to the obviously successful local church schools the state wisely worked in partnership to set up 'school foundations' - which is why we have the system we do now.

So a natural response to your call for churches to set up separate schools is : "We *have* set up church schools, in the thousands - and if the state would like to denationalise the school system - perhaps moving to a voucher system - I'm sure church schools would continue not only to survive but flourish"

Posted by: Peter K+ on Tuesday, 16 June 2015 at 9:43am BST
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Please note that comments are limited to 400 words. Comments that are longer than 400 words will not be approved.

Cookies are used to remember your personal information between visits to the site. This information is stored on your computer and used to refill the text boxes on your next visit. Any cookie is deleted if you select 'No'. By ticking 'Yes' you agree to this use of a cookie by this site. No third-party cookies are used, and cookies are not used for analytical, advertising, or other purposes.