Why Faith Schools Must Be Retained

by Anton Wills-Eve

A report that has received a lot of media attention today claims that ‘Faith Schools’ discriminate in favour of less poor pupils  and has led to the usual crop of bigoted blogging by ill-informed people with chips on their shoulders. The most common cry from such blogs is that faith schools should be abolished, or at least  religion should not be taught in state schools.

Do you they really know what that would mean? Seriously? Religion should play no part in schools? What would be left if you took it away? No history, no sociology, no geography, no medical sciences etc because without explaining everything we learn, within its religious and historical context, you might as well make up a whole new history of the world based on lies. This has nothing to do with the divine side of religious education, it is the basis of everything we are taught. God help me if I had been deprived of RE classes at school. They put everything else I was taught in perspective. Also that is why they produce the brightest and best educated pupils in the country no matter what their socio-economic or ethnic background.

I can only suppose that people who oppose teaching pupils the importance of the part religion plays in the every day life of so many people, and especially the part it plays in accounting for the reasons why the world has developed as it has irrespective of whether the outcome is a good thing or a bad thing, are either ignorant of the importance of religion in the history of mankind or just don’t want to be told how other people think they should behave. They don’t have to take any notice of religious instruction, that is up to each individual, but to deny pupils the chance to know what others think and then judge such issues for themselves is quite simply denying them a very important part of their education.  Anyway, all education is only one set of people exercising their right to use free speech to make a point to others, so why should anyone object to that? The only reason I can think of is that they are scared, and cowards never make good judges of anything. It takes courage both to be right and to publicly advocate being right in one’s own opinion.