Faith Schools Are 'At Odds with Reason', Say Teachers

By Richard Garner Education Editor | The Independent (London, England), April 12, 2006 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Faith Schools Are 'At Odds with Reason', Say Teachers


Richard Garner Education Editor, The Independent (London, England)


Teachers' leaders have demanded an end to the funding of more faith schools, saying pupils risked being indoctrinated by religious extremists.

They made the call after it was revealed that 42 of the first 100 of Tony Blair's flagship academies had Christian sponsors.

Delegates at the 160,000-strong Association of Teachers and Lecturers' conference in Gateshead warned that the increasing number of faith schools posed a threat to integration and provided "fertile ground for religious and ethnic conflicts".

The Rev Chris Wilson, chaplain at Cambridge Regional College, supporting the ban on funding, said: "We need to be concerned that some of the faith communities have agendas which are at odds with reason and progress and the interests of science. My aspiration would be to have a secular education system in which all faiths are honoured and respected."

Delegates cited the teaching of creationism in science lessons as a major concern. Schools sponsored by the Vardy Foundation, run by Sir Peter Vardy, have been accused of doing this.

Dr Mary Bousted, the union's general secretary, said: "What else is going on? Are people being taught that it is all right to be homophobic? Government policy - particularly through the academies programme - is about a rapid increase in faith schools.

"ATL members are worried that this rate of increase will see fundamentalists having a growing influence on the school curriculum."

Andy Ballard, from Somerset, added: "Schools should focus on teaching kids to be decent human beings. They should take pupils of all faiths and of none in equal measure."

However, Elizabeth Green, from Wiltshire, argued: "Faith schools have a place in our society and all parents should have the right to choose one for their child if they so wish."

The conference voted to demand a ban on the funding of any future faith schools. It also called on ministers to give cash aid to any existing faith schools in the state sector that want-ed to become secular. At present 15 per cent of the capital budget of voluntarily aided faith schools comes from their church group.

However, they voted against a demand for new laws banning the teaching of creationism and intelligent design as an alternative to evolution in science lessons, after opposition from religious education teachers.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Faith Schools Are 'At Odds with Reason', Say Teachers
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?