12 September 2016

May risks entrenching the ethnic divide

.... So it was dismaying to hear the prime minister’s announcement last week on faith schools. Previously, over-subscribed new schools could only select 50 per cent of pupils on the basis of religion. Now it is to be 100 per cent. More mono-cultural, mono-faith, mono-racial schools. More bubbles. More parallel lives.

.... It is already happening at the Waterhead Academy in Oldham, where one overwhelmingly white school was merged with a largely Asian school four years ago. Survey evidence shows clear improvements in cross-community relations, trust and friendship. Where 15 years ago racial division saw riots explode, now children are learning together and getting to know each other.

May’s education plans demonstrate a laudable desire to transform rather than tinker. But on faith schools, she must be wary of unintended consequences. Because when “communities” of faith or race are served separately, when parallel lives are reinforced, then the wider community — the nation — is poorer. [159 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 68 votes] There should be no faith schools end off. Education should be separated from religious beliefs. It beggars belief that this is not seen as discrimination against those with no faith. This is simply a fix for the government who have created a monster with mass immigration and now have to provide schools for these groups, many of whom are Muslim. It will prove to be a disaster and shows the complete lack of understanding/admitting the problem by the PM.

[2ND 62] I never asked for my country to be filled with people from elsewhere and neither am I prepared to "integrate" with them to provide after-the-fact justification to the whole ghastly experiment.

[3RD 52] I thought Mrs May was doing quite well until she announced this policy.

We already have ethnic minority ghettos and the former head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission has admitted that multiculturalism has failed and communities are living parallel lives - seldom interacting outside of work.

The creation of single faith schools is going to take the country backwards. State Education should be secular. If people want their children educated in a particular faith, they have the option of "Sunday Schools" or paying for private education.

This is a dreadful decision which, in order to pander to Catholic sentiment, is going to affect society negatively for decades to come.


[4TH 52] So, according to Clare Foges, if I live in Bradford, Blackburn or Halifax, I should be denied the opportunity to send my child to a Christian faith school, because it perpetuates segregation. Tell me what efforts her taxi-driver's niqab-wearing wife is making to integrate - and how many non- Muslim mothers will be wanting their children to be friends with hers, when they can't even see her face to speak to her in the playground.

[5TH 50] Faith schools should be banned - we should take a leaf out of the Singaporean education system where there are 2 mainstream ethnicities - Malay and Chinese and all are educated in common schools - it's a part of the nation building process.

[6TH 45] Why do faiths need to run schools?

[7TH 42] This article totally misses the point.

There should be no religion in schools. Religion is a faith based belief in the supernatural and an afterlife, that nobody has ever come back from to tell us about. How stupid does it get to allow this to dominate any debate concerning education?

Get religion out of schools and stop poisoning minds with it. Kids unfortunately inherit religions from parents - an accident of birth. We should not tolerate the promotion of it in the school system.

[8TH 37] Keep religion out of schools, period. What chance do we have if you create an apartheid system where kids learn some middle ages dogma that has no place in a modern, western, society. [The Times (£)] Read more