Education: Church Schools Gain in Power but Critics Fear Their Divisive Influence
Gray, Chris, The Independent (London, England)
CHURCH SCHOOLS will gain a stronger foothold in education despite warnings that expanding the influence of faith groups will encourage segregation.
Any religious organisation can now apply to take over a failing school and yesterday's White Paper has sent a clear signal that independent church schools wanting to move into the state sector and benefit from state money will be welcomed.
The Church of England, which runs 4,700 primary and secondary schools and wants to open another 100 secondaries, is likely to be the biggest beneficiary. There has also been demand for schools of different religions. Yesterday the Islamic charity Hazrat Sultan Bahu Trust announced plans for a pounds 12m state-funded all-girls secondary school for up to 800 pupils in Birmingham.
Campaigners against expansion of church schools fear such schools will divide communities. The Liberal Democrat education spokesman, Phil Willis, said more faith schools would create a two-tier system. "The product of a selective, faith-based, exclusive education system is graphically illustrated in Belfast - is this the extent of Tony Blair's vision for our secondary schools?" he said.
Proposals from faith groups to establish schools will have to be treated along with those …
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Publication information: Article title: Education: Church Schools Gain in Power but Critics Fear Their Divisive Influence. Contributors: Gray, Chris - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: September 6, 2001. Page number: 4. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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