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← Why David Cameron wants a boom in faith schools

Why David Cameron wants a boom in faith schools - Comments

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 31 by mordacious1

10. Comment #454958 by Quetzalcoatl

I am really, really keeping my fingers crossed for a hung Parliament.

Well, I could certainly help you out with this, but Yanks can't run for Parliament.

*gets coat*

Tue, 26 Jan 2010 20:34:00 UTC | #435575

Ivan The Not So Bad's Avatar Comment 32 by Ivan The Not So Bad

Comment #455031 by Mitch Kahle
Comment #455047 by Lucas

There is nothing stopping RDF, the Royal Society or any other scientific or non-religious body from applying to set-up and run schools.

In fact, you don't even need to put up the £2m starter money anymore so even a group of non-believing parents could give it a go.

All you need is the desire, a credible plan, an ethos or speciality (maybe) and some organisation and organisational expertise (which can be hired in). The government pays for the building and all the running costs.

However, to avoid looking really stupid, you'd want make sure the exam results were truly outstanding.

Tue, 26 Jan 2010 20:37:00 UTC | #435577

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 33 by Quetzalcoatl

I knew there'd be someone.

Tue, 26 Jan 2010 20:37:00 UTC | #435578

foolfodder's Avatar Comment 34 by foolfodder

Not atheist schools. Satanist schools or Monsterism schools. Then there might be a chance they'd see how absurd this is.

Tue, 26 Jan 2010 20:41:00 UTC | #435581

ahmunnaeetchoo's Avatar Comment 35 by ahmunnaeetchoo

Much agreed mixmaster!

There would be no point putting an atheist label on a school. Secular schools that provide a good unbiased education and encourage critical thinking are essentially what we're after.

The grip religion has on our schools is bizarre enough, nevermind the fact that parents will force their children into a religion for a better education (yes this actually happens!).

Tue, 26 Jan 2010 20:42:00 UTC | #435583

donttellhimpike's Avatar Comment 36 by donttellhimpike

Shit! I looked at the Daily Hate web site! EYEWASH! EYEWASH SOMEBODY!

The holy grail of Daily Hate headlines: Immigrants Carry A Type Of AIDS That Lowers House Prices.*

I'd already decided I wasn't going to help elect this vote-whoring toss rag who looks like he's made of dough*. This is just one more reason. I'm going to have to spoil my ballot. Again.

*=not my gags, can't remember who to credit though...

Tue, 26 Jan 2010 20:45:00 UTC | #435585

donttellhimpike's Avatar Comment 37 by donttellhimpike

Comment #455012 by Cartomancer

It seems to me that people just write off the Lib Dems because they are told to by the media.

Didn't Nick Clegg come out recently? I seem to remember reading that somewhere in recent months...although he doesn't mind his wife bringing their kids up with a religion. Now if I were a cynic I'd say that was appealing to both sides for political gain. I guess I've just lost all trust in politicians. I'm always looking for their alteria motive.

Tue, 26 Jan 2010 20:57:00 UTC | #435588

j.mills's Avatar Comment 38 by j.mills

As Roy Harper puts it:

Now there's no one left to vote for,
Only fools to vote against...
(From his terrific political lament, Monster, on the album The Green Man.)

Tue, 26 Jan 2010 20:58:00 UTC | #435589

evad's Avatar Comment 39 by evad

This is truly dreadful. The last thing the country needs is an even greater dive into religion. There should be no religious schools, period. Indoctrination is the job of churches.

Just as I thought the progressive european world would move slowly towards a true separation of church and state, the former seems to be digging in its heals.

I despair of the political elite, how can these people be so stupid. Not just in their disposition for belief, but their worrying tendency to want to impose it on the free. Its all so sad, none of the parties are worth getting out of bed for, much less voting.

Tue, 26 Jan 2010 21:06:00 UTC | #435590

daftness's Avatar Comment 40 by daftness

In any discussion on faith schools, it is invariably stated as a given that the standard of education in faith schools is better than in non faith schools (our own David Milliband,despite being an avowed atheist has passed over a non- denominational school nearer his home to have his kid placed in a faith school because of better standards there).

Is it a 'fact' that the standards are better in these schools or is it just accepted that it is so which then makes it so.

If they are better: why? More time given over to myths surely cannot make for better educational attainment.

It grates with me that I have had to listen to faith heads smugly asserting that even we atheists want to get into their better schools because of their higher moral standards lead to improved standards of education.

It seems really far fetched to me and yet the evidence as presented in the media (and that is why Cameron is jumping on the bandwagon) is that faith schools work best.

Is it true, and if so, why?

Anyone help me out here?

Tue, 26 Jan 2010 21:07:00 UTC | #435591

mmartini52's Avatar Comment 41 by mmartini52

How could we, a once proud nation, come to this? How could this man, this putty faced politician (lol donttellhimpike), correctly summed up as a "lightweight" by Obama, be threatening to be our next PM? How could the Labour party corrupt itself so completely, and destroy our hopes so utterly??

It seems that it's OK to use the school setting to inject the faith toxin into defenceless children after all. Remember, Cameron, that not all religions are as benign, progressive or liberal as the touchy feely C of E. You give this right to one religious sect, you must extend it to all. Short sighted? No, more like THICK and STUPID.

I'm voting for Clegg, but alas, too many won't.

Keep religion out of schools!

Tue, 26 Jan 2010 21:12:00 UTC | #435593

mmartini52's Avatar Comment 42 by mmartini52

It is not a fact that standards are better in religious, or private, schools. Some are good, some are indifferent, some rubbish. Some have fair admissions policies, and others bend the rules by refusing their fair share of, for example, children whose first language is not English, or children who have Special Educational Needs.

It's the good old state system, like the NHS, which takes on all comers and tries to give opportunity to all. And often does it extremely well!

The faith and private establishments educate the children of highly motivated, middle class parents, or highly motivated religious parents. They start with advantage of committed parents. You know what? Some of them are STILL more rubbish than some state comprehensives, according to GCSE results!

Tue, 26 Jan 2010 21:21:00 UTC | #435597

daftness's Avatar Comment 43 by daftness


Thanks for that. That sounds closer to the truth, but the media I suppose never portray things the way they actually are.

If I, from my naturally sceptical perspective, get the very strong impression that faith schools are best from an attainment point of view, how are those who already have a god complex going to see it.

I think more faith schools are going to mushroom in the UK and with what effect in the integration of children?

More segregation: just what we need.

Tue, 26 Jan 2010 21:31:00 UTC | #435601

quisquose's Avatar Comment 44 by quisquose

The almost certain prospect of the Tories gaining power scares the shit out of me I'm afraid to admit.

The Woo is very strong in that party.

Take a look at the voting on important issues where you can imagine somebody infected with Woo might be moved by his/her imaginary friend to vote the wrong way, and you will see that the Tories are very dangerous indeed.

Take a look at the voting on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill last May for example:

Oh dear.


Tue, 26 Jan 2010 21:36:00 UTC | #435606

quisquose's Avatar Comment 45 by quisquose

40. Comment #455079 by daftness

In any discussion on faith schools, it is invariably stated as a given that the standard of education in faith schools is better than in non faith schools (our own David Milliband,despite being an avowed atheist has passed over a non- denominational school nearer his home to have his kid placed in a faith school because of better standards there).

I would suggest that if faith schools are marginally better than their secular equivalents, then it is because of selection only.

Even if we believe the claims by faith schools that they are not selecting students, the mere fact that the parents have to select the school is going to provide a statistical advantage.

It doesn't matter what the selection method is, it could be religion, eye colour or even what football team you support, the very fact that the parents have to think about it and make a selection gives the school an advantage. The secular schools are immediately left with those difficult children from parents who can't be bothered to think too much about their children's education.

Tue, 26 Jan 2010 21:55:00 UTC | #435613

j.mills's Avatar Comment 46 by j.mills

mmartini52 said:

The faith and private establishments educate the children of highly motivated, middle class parents, or highly motivated religious parents. They start with advantage of committed parents.
Quite. Since you have to jump through substantial hoops to get your child into a faith school, only children of parents who give a damn about their education will typically be admitted: thus, the school's cohort will be biased towards kids with supportive home life, and away from disruptive pupils. It's an unholy trinity of parents, church and school, colluding on a nod and a wink to provide an unrepresentatively peacable, monolithic and elitist education on the one hand, and recruits to the 'faith' on the other.

There is some lip-service fig-leaf provision these days about faith schools taking in a minority of pupils from outside their denomination. But how many christians, much less atheists, would choose to send their child to an islamic or sikh school, whatever the admissions policy? - When the non-faith school I worked at was converted to a C-of-E-run academy, the wildly misleading consultation document issued by the county council was laughably called "Promoting Choice And Diversity". (Did I mention the school was right next door to an existing C of E school?)

I know people who moved house and started attending church regularly, solely to get their boys into the local C of E. On the other hand, I know a vehement atheist who went through the same school. We can take comfort in the possibility that the schools' indoctrination skills are poor.

Tue, 26 Jan 2010 22:00:00 UTC | #435615

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 47 by Stafford Gordon

Vote mining.

Tue, 26 Jan 2010 22:06:00 UTC | #435621

Prankster's Avatar Comment 48 by Prankster


Frankie Boyle?

Tue, 26 Jan 2010 22:09:00 UTC | #435622

Alternative Carpark's Avatar Comment 49 by Alternative Carpark

A Tory government: out of the frying pan, into the fire.

England truly is doomed. I can't see myself ever going back to live there.

Wed, 27 Jan 2010 04:04:00 UTC | #435727

megacephalanthropus's Avatar Comment 50 by megacephalanthropus

'I support faith schools, I think they have a lot to bring to education.'

Namely a bunch of baseless assertions & biases!

Seriously if they indoctrinate kids with taxpayers money someone should go all Attila-the-Hun on them!

How ironic that he resembles David Bartlett!!!

Wed, 27 Jan 2010 05:34:00 UTC | #435741

Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Comment 51 by Rawhard Dickins

What's the point in promoting blind nonsensical belief in what people were thinking 2000 years ago, to the exclusion of modern knowledge, to the most vunerable people in the community (youngsters)?

Wed, 27 Jan 2010 07:34:00 UTC | #435757

weavehole's Avatar Comment 52 by weavehole

Wed, 27 Jan 2010 07:51:00 UTC | #435762

Communist's Avatar Comment 53 by Communist

So this is the future of the nation in which Karl Marx and Charles Darwin once lived. A 'labour' party that supports war crimes in Iraq in bad enough, and now this. If Cameron gets his way, then the UK will be like Lebanon twenty years from now.

May I suggest Madeline Bunting as minister of education and Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) as minister of culture?

Wed, 27 Jan 2010 07:59:00 UTC | #435764

HungryDuff's Avatar Comment 54 by HungryDuff

I can hear Sir Peter Vardy on the phone to David Cameron now saying I'll invest in another 10 David thank you very much. For those of you who don't know, Sir Peter Vardy owned the largest car group in the UK (Reg Vardy PLC) before he sold it on. He is famous for transforming under achieving schools in to faith schools (evangelical), mostly in the north of England and has numerous evangelical churches around the north, the largest being the million pound Super Church in Houghton le Spring near Sunderland.

Under Tony Blair’s government (which Tony Blair himself encouraged) he/she could stump up a million pounds and voila he/she has their own school with a board of directors generally made up of prominent evangelical pillars of the community. The pupils of these so called schools are required to carry a bible at all times, they are taught that the earth is 6000 years old and are taught creationism/intelligent design. they are taught nothing that would question the word of the Bible. After a number of months children who’s parents were of different faiths or no faith were discriminated against and started to be expelled from the schools, so what was left was pure evangelical children from evangelical families. I believe there are around 20 schools like this now in the North of England, with more planned.

What Mr Cameron is doing is giving every nutter who wants to impose their Dogma/fairy tales on our children an open invitation, as long as they follow the national curriculum (allegedly).

Britain is now heading down a rocky road and is inviting more religious segregation through the use of faith schools, certainly heading in the wrong direction and a very worrying course of action by Mr Cameron.

Wed, 27 Jan 2010 09:11:00 UTC | #435774

Nozzer's Avatar Comment 55 by Nozzer

This has spurred me on to make a donation here
Do something about it.

Wed, 27 Jan 2010 09:39:00 UTC | #435776

mxmad2's Avatar Comment 56 by mxmad2

Senior figures in the Roman Catholic Church have already expressed a strong interest in running the 'free schools' proposed by the Conservatives.
Just as there holding on schools in Ireland looks to be sliping , Camron seeks to redress the balance. When I think of how they performened there, it makes me wonder how anyone could entertain this.

Wed, 27 Jan 2010 10:16:00 UTC | #435784

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 57 by Richard Dawkins

I am really, really keeping my fingers crossed for a hung Parliament. It's the best that can be hoped for.
Yes and I shall, as usual, vote Liberal Democrat at the next election. An easy decision, since the Lib Dem MP for Oxford happens to be Evan Harris, the most stalwart atheist and suporter of liberal decency in parliament, the one who got the blasphemy law abolished (and main parliamentary supporter of the heroic Simon Singh and the campaign to change the British libel law). If there is a hung parliament, the hope is that the Lib Dems will be able to knock some sense into whichever of the two main parties they cooperate with, not least when it comes to faith schools. Nick Clegg, the Lib Dem leader is an atheist, although not so admirably outspoken as Evan Harris, and he sometimes sounds as though he believes in belief. I've never voted Tory in my life, but I wonder whether there is one respect in which they might be better than Labour, where faith schools are concerned. I suspect that the Tories are likely to be most sympathetic to Anglican faith schools, and, much as I disapprove of them, they are at least more harmless than the competition. Labour are constantly sucking up to Muslim voters, whereas the Tories don't, or not to the same extent. Islam is surely the greatest man-made evil in the world today, and I think I'd feel a tiny bit more secure against the menacing threat of Islam and Islamic faith schools, under the Tories than under Labour. But the Lib Dems are the best of a bad lot, and Evan Harris is very positively a good thing. His Oxford seat has become less safe than before, because of boundary changes, so may I urge people living in Oxford (or even not living in Oxford) to rally round and help Evan get re-elected. I have been asked to donate to the Lib Dems, and I have replied that my donations will go specifically to Evan Harris's campaign.


Wed, 27 Jan 2010 10:30:00 UTC | #435788

Antipotheosis's Avatar Comment 58 by Antipotheosis

oh for fuck's sake...

Religious schools only have a higher standard of education because they as (or owned by) supernatural charities, pay no income tax, pay no or reduced property rates and are exempt from other forms of corporate taxation, receive uncapped donations which tax payers end up paying for at the end of the day already (because of charitable status), and have the financial backing of immensely wealthy organized religions in case of any unforseen financial crisis.
with all of these benefits they have an easy monopoly over the education system and can afford to grab the best teachers from the secular state schools on simple financial grounds. I bet the state school systems don't get this sort of treatment...

not to mention the fact that they have lobby groups and that indoctrinating the young into potentially life-long gullibility is seen as useful by government and churches alike... it's the same here in Australia...

Wed, 27 Jan 2010 10:31:00 UTC | #435789

Raiko's Avatar Comment 59 by Raiko

Wow. The ignorance is breathtaking - it's like the troubles in ireland never happened or something.

I wonder if Mr. Cameron's daughter would've been so happy about her faith school, if she had been raped and abused by a priest like countless other children subjected to a religious education. I do not wish her that experience, not for a moment. I don't even wish him the experience as a father, but what I do wish is that he'd consider the possibility.

Wed, 27 Jan 2010 11:36:00 UTC | #435799

Szymanowski's Avatar Comment 60 by Szymanowski

#455063 by Ivan The Not So Bad

There is nothing stopping RDF, the Royal Society or any other scientific or non-religious body from applying to set-up and run [state-funded] schools.


Wed, 27 Jan 2010 11:45:00 UTC | #435800