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  • Quotas on religious schools

    by Sunny
    17th October, 2006 at 2:53 pm    

    Our so-called “community leaders” are up in arms over the government’s shocking (!!) proposals that there should be a quote of people from other faiths too. Apparently:

    Imposing admissions quotas on voluntary aided faith schools will restrict minority students’ access to state education, discriminating against families from disadvantaged backgrounds and forcing those seeking a faith education into less regulated private schooling.

    We believe there are better ways of achieving intercommunal relations. Faith communities and others should be encouraged to continue to develop practical proposals to enhance social cohesion and cultural interaction in and between our schools.

    Were they smoking crack when they sent the letter to the Times today? According to them allowing religious inter-mixing in schools is not better for community cohesion so the government should think of other “practical proposals”…. because the current suggestion is not practical enough clearly.

    Lord Lucas is in favour of quotas, as is Osama Saeed. I wonder how long it’ll take for the latter to backtrack.
    [hat tip: Chairwoman]

                  Post to

    Filed in: Religion

    36 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs

    1. Yakoub/Julaybib — on 17th October, 2006 at 3:06 pm  

      Someone tell them Moazzam Begg went to a Jewish primary school!

      Actually, this should be extended to include teachers as well. I know in Catholic schools you currently have to be Catholic to work their. I’d be happy to work in any faith school. Okay, I might draw the line at Seventh Day Adventist!



    2. Yakoub/Julaybib — on 17th October, 2006 at 3:06 pm  


    3. ZinZin — on 17th October, 2006 at 4:24 pm  

      Were they smoking crack when they sent the letter to the Times today?

      Ask tougher questions of the PM. He is the man promoting racial and religious divisions on a scale that community leaders never deemed possible.

      Community leadere are the shadow the PM should face tougher questions on his faith school policy.

      My question to him is; why does a man who worked to bridge the religious divisions in Northern Ireland and bring peace to that province determined to create new religious divisons in the UK?

    4. bananabrain — on 17th October, 2006 at 4:42 pm  

      Someone tell them Moazzam Begg went to a Jewish primary school!

      jeez - which one? me and mrs bananabrain are currently filling out applications for mini-banana and we would prefer him not to end up in guantanamo bay if at all possible.

      i note that henry grunwald of the board of deps signed the damfool letter. speaking as someone who is in favour of inclusive faith schools, he doesn’t speak for me. in fact, he has absolutely no power to influence the parents. i don’t know what he thinks he’s playing at, frankly. i’ll write more about this later i think, because it’s much on my mind at the moment.



    5. Clairwil — on 17th October, 2006 at 5:13 pm  

      Why can’t we just do away with (state funded)faith schools and let religious organisations have a representative at every school, along the lines of a university chaplin? What do religious leaders think the children are going to catch by mixing with children from no and other faiths?

      Good question ZinZin. I think it’s because rather than adhere to any real principles he (Blair) tries to please everyone and ends up making a bigger mess.

    6. Don — on 17th October, 2006 at 5:19 pm  

      If I had no other reason to rue the day Blair was elected (and I wore out shoe leather canvassing for Labour in ’97) the two words ‘Faith Schools’ would be enough.

      Dragon’s teeth, nowt but dragon’s teeth.

    7. Katy Newton — on 17th October, 2006 at 5:47 pm  

      I am against faith schools. Both of my parents went to faith schools and certainly my father loathed his (Christian Brothers). I went to a mixed school, which prepared me for our mixed society. At some point the little darlings will have to come to terms with the fact that not everyone is the same as they are. The earlier the better, if you ask me.

    8. TomTom — on 17th October, 2006 at 6:07 pm  

      Should privatise all schools and provide loans for Post-16 education so the shocj of tuition fees at University does not come at 18.

      The State should withdraw from providing schools altogether since it has managed to destroy Education at the same time as spending billions of taxpayers money in a disastrous venture.

      Schools in Britain are rather like Kolkhoz in the USSR - poor husbandry and low yields with very wasteful investment.

      The issue of “Faith” schools is a red-herring. there won’t be any. It is just part of the doomed Academy Programme to find someone to differentiate the bog-standard comprehensive. The C of E was conned into re-branding a few sink comprehensives as C of E Secondaries in the hope that dopey middle-class parents would provide children for the experiment.

      The whole thing is another Blair farce but it amuses the media and gets the chatterers absorbed while he goes on to develop new disasters

    9. John Barnes — on 17th October, 2006 at 6:11 pm  

      “Actually, this should be extended to include teachers as well. I know in Catholic schools you currently have to be Catholic to work their”

      Actually I think, in fact I know that’s bollocks. Also Catholic schools have been accepting children of other faiths for years

    10. Yakoub/Julaybib — on 17th October, 2006 at 8:03 pm  

      If you had actually read my post instead of cursing your own genitalia, you’d have realised I was talking about Catholic teachers working in Catholic schools, not pupils. But on checking this, it turned out I was wrong on that score, anyway:



    11. Yakoub/Julaybib — on 17th October, 2006 at 8:04 pm  

      Okay, I misread your post. Having a bad brain day.

    12. Richard — on 17th October, 2006 at 9:16 pm  

      I can not see myself sending my child to a school which is 90 percent muslim, as I`m of the indigenious population, which is predominatley christian in faith, I myself am athiest, a kafir etc., the Indigenous people of the United Kingdom where never asked if they wanted to become multicultural, some of us feel like we are under occupation ourselves, i cannot see me forcing my children to wear the hijab, no more than i would force a muslim to wear the cross, i feel this is a reasoned point if you feel otherwise then please say so, Richard Costello Royal Air Force Retired, I have served my country well, and hope to maintain the rights and freedoms so often taken for granted bless you all

    13. John Barnes — on 17th October, 2006 at 9:22 pm  

      Fair enough, but I find it ridiculous that people are now claiming Catholic schools will be ‘forced’ into accepting children of other faiths as if there was an existing ban in place when its something that has been done on a voluntary basis (albeit in limited numbers and on a case by case basis) for years anyway.

    14. Ralph Lucas — on 17th October, 2006 at 9:54 pm  

      Well, I don’t know, Richard. Once you get a few good Muslim schools that will admit us unbelievers, I think you’ll find the chance of a good education outweighs the dangers of religious indoctrination any day. Otherwise who’d send their unbelieving child to a Catholic school? Camden Girls’ is immensely popular with non-Muslims - and the character that the 30% Muslim contingent brings is one of the main attractions.

    15. Don — on 17th October, 2006 at 10:52 pm  

      Saeed distinguishes between Moslem and Islamic schools, but I doubt either would attract enough non-moslems to fill any meaningful quota.

      I have friends who teach in faith schools and others who send there children there. The most common remark I hear when the question arises is, ‘Well, it’s not really all that religious…’. It’s alway the ethos people cite. And the standards. Of course, religious schools do have the deck stacked in their favour, but that’s an old atheist grumble.

      It’s the newer crop, the one’s that actually fucking mean it, that bother me. Yes, in a free society you can indoctrinate your kids with whatever malevolent sky-daddy you follow. But that is not what school is for. If Faith is top of the agenda, don’t call it a school.

    16. justforfun — on 17th October, 2006 at 11:38 pm  

      Is it really 25% that they want as outside whatever faith the school is?

      What happens when this quota can’t be filled? Contigency plans have to be made for this eventuality, and it might have absolutely nothing to do with the faith concerned, but just that the school standards have dropped and the people in the catchment area who are not of that faith will want to go elsewhere. Will that be denied them?

      What happens when the quota can’t be filled because there are not 25% in the catchement area. Will they be bussed in or will the school will be exempted.

      The list could just go on and on…

      Why are we, as a society, trying to tie ourselves in knots to accomodate this sort of stuff. Its bad enough that the Tax system is complicated, now admissions to schools is going to be more of a nightmare than it already is.

      I am a school governor for my local primary school and I can say there is no link between planing consent for housing developments and the neighbourhood school capacity, and so to expect any co-ordination on this “Faith front” is just laughable. And if politians think there are systems in place then they don’t know how LEAs are run.

      If schools were just good, then no one would be trying to create faith schools. Demand for Faith schools are just people clutching at straws as standards in schools drop, and people have been led to think that a solution can be provided by a faith school. Snake oil salesmen.

      So much political energy is wasted trying to navigate this through. It would be better spent on just concentrating on other educational matters, or thinking about it … just leaving schools alone to get on with it.

      This bit is Off Topic but I’ll rant anyway…

      We have good staff, and have just recruited a new head from the catholic system to take us forward to even better things; and we just want the LEA off our backs as they just seem to want to constrain us and drag us down, as our success causes them problems. Schools round about just are collapsing, and so the certain elements in the LEA seem to find it easier to drag us down, rather than try and fixed the schools nearby. To explain - We are oversubscribed but cannot expand as there is no funding and we are forced to accept pupils from outside our catchment area - as we lose our appeals not to have to take them. The LEA strategy seems to be to fill us to the brim at 35-40 pupils per room (currently 35 in 3 classroms and 30 in the other 3 rooms but next year climbing to 38 in some rooms) so that parents will eventiually get fed up and take their kids back to the failling schools outside our catchment area. I don’t blame these parents, as we are a better bet for their children even at 35 per room compared to the 15 per room in the awful schools nearby. In the meantime kids here are expendable to this policy. Its a policy of promoting failure because they cannot plan success elsewhere. Madness. Just leave us alone.

      And we’re in rural area - it must be hell in a city primary school, but then they get far more money per child than we do, but that is another story and another gripe

      Rant over


    17. Don — on 17th October, 2006 at 11:53 pm  


      Let it all out, man. Know how you feel. Just got OFSTED’ed.

    18. Leon — on 18th October, 2006 at 11:50 am  

      I’m not so sure about this idea that faith schools create restrictive world views. I went them from primary school onwards and turned out athiest!

    19. Jagdeep — on 18th October, 2006 at 12:57 pm  

      Leon they create sectarianism in pressure cooker situations like Northern Ireland. Whether Catholic or Jewish schools contributed to that here is probably because the dynamics are different. I bet that faith schools and the sectarian issue and divisiveness in West Scotland especially Glasgow is a different dynamic and issue altogether than in London which is cosmopolitan. The worry is that in todays pressure cooker type situation in parts of the country (espcially the northern mill towns) where the dynamics of separation are already there along ethnic and religious lines, whether faith schools are going to exacerbate that. It’s a tough one to call, and definitely needs alot of public debate.

    20. Sid A — on 18th October, 2006 at 1:18 pm  

      Jagdeep, you Sikhs and your gender-ambiguous names! All this time I’m going through a Victor-Victoria vortex of tormented sexual confusion and thinking (though not admitting) that I’m attracted to a Singh. Such a relief to find out you’re a Kaur. Cor.

    21. Sid A — on 18th October, 2006 at 1:22 pm  

      Looks like I posted that on the wrong thread. I should posted this on the thread on which Jagdeep vents about Jatts. How gay is that.

    22. Jagdeep — on 18th October, 2006 at 1:25 pm  

      Dude, I’m a Singh, not a Kaur :-)

      Do you have unresolved androgeneity issues?? :-)

    23. Jagdeep — on 18th October, 2006 at 1:28 pm  

      You were confused when I said my Jatt grandfather’s land went to his sons, not his daughters?? My mom is Jatt therefore I had nothing from him, because she wouldnt get any in the first place is what I meant ;-)

    24. Sid A — on 18th October, 2006 at 1:31 pm  

      oh well. fancy a snog?

    25. Jagdeep — on 18th October, 2006 at 1:32 pm  

      I can feel my homophobic Jatt blood rising in fury at the suggestion!

    26. sonia — on 18th October, 2006 at 1:34 pm  

      yeah leon’s got a good point. think of all the people churned out by convent schools///these things can lead to all sorts of directions!

    27. ZinZin — on 18th October, 2006 at 4:22 pm  

      I do not want to put a fly in the ointment, But Igbal “Death is too good for him” Sacranie went to a catholic school. Stephen Greens educational background is a not worth thinking about at all.

      These are the kind of people that such schools produce.

    28. bananabrain — on 18th October, 2006 at 6:28 pm  

      the chief rabbi (sir jonathan sacks) went to a catholic school and a more sensible and reasonable chap you can’t find easily. on the other hand, my mum went to a convent school in mumbai and her opinions are just right of genghis khan.



    29. Chairwoman — on 18th October, 2006 at 6:51 pm  

      Actually Sir Jonathan went to Christ’s College in Finchley. Although it sounds religious, and was originally, by the time he went there it was non-denominational. Charles Saatchi was there at the same time, but I don’t think they were friends as I knew Charles, or ‘Itcharse’ as he was known at the time, but I didn’t know the future Chief Rabbi.

    30. sonia — on 18th October, 2006 at 7:36 pm  

      ah well zinzin u dont have to worry, im perfectly aware that they can turn out religious nutters, atheists, sex-mad people, or perfectly normal people :-)

    31. ZinZin — on 18th October, 2006 at 7:44 pm  

      For the record i attended a faith school.

      Draw your own conclusions.

    32. sonia — on 18th October, 2006 at 7:56 pm  

      what kind of faith school was that zinzin? :-)

    33. ZinZin — on 18th October, 2006 at 8:26 pm  

      Roman Catholic

    34. Bert Preast — on 18th October, 2006 at 11:15 pm  

      crack > school

    35. Uncleji — on 20th October, 2006 at 12:15 pm  

      There’s even a sikh religious school that wants to increase it’s intake of non-sikhs. Also has a non-sikh deputy head. The sant who set it up is a bit dodgey though in a good old fashioned moneyway.

      “Sikh school wants a mix of faiths july 2005″

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