Comments: Religion and Belief in Schools

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 at Monday, 15 June 2015 at 5:57pm BST

As a PP I agree entirely with Susannah Clark.

Posted by Fr William at 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 at 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+ at Tuesday, 16 June 2015 at 9:43am BST
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