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← Countless millions of taxpayers’ money spent on discrimination in schools

Countless millions of taxpayers’ money spent on discrimination in schools - Comments

Mr Blue Sky's Avatar Comment 1 by Mr Blue Sky

It is wicked and foolish government sponsored vandalism of our young peoples emotional and general intelligence and an insult to humanity but there is no party to vote for that would curb this vicious nonsense.

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 11:58:09 UTC | #925343

Anonymous's Avatar Comment 2 by Anonymous

Comment Removed by Moderator

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 12:05:29 UTC | #925346

phill marston's Avatar Comment 3 by phill marston

I thought the UK had legislation to prevent discrimination in employment on the grounds of ethnic origin, colour, sex and religious conviction. Is it not against such legislation to advertise a post and say only people who can 'prove their faith' can apply? And if that's not illegal, if you advertise for a chaplain, who presumably would have to be ordained, when women are not eligible for ordination, isn't that discrimination on grounds of sex?

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 12:13:17 UTC | #925348

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 4 by irate_atheist

Removed by moderator? Are you suggesting these priests don't masturbate?! Surely shome mishtake.

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 12:13:51 UTC | #925349

mmurray's Avatar Comment 5 by mmurray

As someone outside the UK this arrangement seems very strange:

Voluntary aided schools are a kind of "maintained school", meaning that they receive all their running costs from central government via the local authority, and do not charge fees to students. In contrast to other types of maintained school, only 90% of the capital costs of a voluntary aided school are met by government. The foundation contributes the rest of the capital costs, owns the school's land and buildings and appoints a majority of the school governors. The governing body runs the school, employs the staff and decides the school's admission arrangements, subject to rules imposed by central government. Pupils follow the National Curriculum, except that faith schools may teach Religious Education according to their own faith.[11][12][13]

Within the maintained sector in England, approximately 22% of primary schools and 17% of secondary schools are voluntary aided, including all of the Roman Catholic schools and the schools of non-Christian faiths. Almost all voluntary aided primary schools and 93% of voluntary aided secondary schools are linked to a religious body, usually either the Church of England or the Catholic Church, with a minority of other faiths.[14]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voluntary_aided_school

It seems this lets religious institutions get their cake and eat it too.

Michael

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 12:13:56 UTC | #925350

Stephen of Wimbledon's Avatar Comment 6 by Stephen of Wimbledon

The Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 forbid discrimination in employment or vocational training due to religion or belief.

Therefore:

St Mary's Island CE Primary school [asking applicants] to "provide a faith reference" to prove that they will uphold the "Christian leadership that are at the heart of our caring environment".

... is a clear instance of discriminatory and illegal practice as a qualified applicant with no membership of an organised religion could provide such a reference.

I'm not a Teacher. Anyone out there qualified who might fancy becoming a cause célèbre?

Questions about what constitutes a religion or belief are settled by Employment Tribunal. From my own experience I know that this is a long road designed to wear down litigants and promote out-of-court settlements, or a very limited financial penalty on the employer.

I cannot fund the full course of an ET case myself, but would be happy to contribute.

Peace.

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 12:15:29 UTC | #925351

f1vnc's Avatar Comment 7 by f1vnc

It's also a bummer for teachers. Normal secular teachers are effectively blocked from applying to 50% of all UK schools for, say, promotion, unless they're ..

a) prepared to lie about their 'beliefs' and

b) put up with all the stupidity

I know of one (lapsed) Catholic teacher who applied for a Deputy Head job at an RC school and got it (by lying through his teeth). After a couple of years, he then escaped back to rationality as the Head of a proper school, where he had plenty of amusing tales to tell.

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 12:16:19 UTC | #925352

strangebrew's Avatar Comment 8 by strangebrew

Yep..but as Terry writes...

The fact that there are so many such ads may indicate that they are having problems finding enough pious teachers to fill the posts

That is intriguing...that the religios are starting from a low base is obvious...but it seems that there is no great appetite to enable their circle jerk faith based educational ambition.

I think it is to late to recover former glories...and the faith school initiative is under intense media scrutiny...that the retards lie about intent in their schools is a given...but it is not a sustainable con and it will be their inevitable undoing because folk are starting to notice the smell.

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 12:17:33 UTC | #925353

Vorlund's Avatar Comment 9 by Vorlund

we are committed to living the Gospel values each and every day

They will be condoning slavery then?

Comment 1 by Mr Blue Sky :

It is wicked and foolish government sponsored vandalism of our young peoples emotional and general intelligence and an insult to humanity but there is no party to vote for that would curb this vicious nonsense.

It is wicked and Nope there isn't because they haven't clocked the fact that we are a secular nation and most of us don't give a fart for xtian values. They think its still a vote winner and of course the royals and CofE need eachother for mutual justification.

I have said before on this forum that in the UK there are 50+ qualifications in our schoolsdedicated to assessing your knowledge and competence in the magic fuf fuf bolox of abrahmism and NONE in evolutionary biology. I'd go as far as to say that most scientific quals in schools don't teach real scientific enquiry.

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 12:27:46 UTC | #925357

QuestioningKat's Avatar Comment 10 by QuestioningKat

In the US, teachers do not necessarily need to be Catholic, however the religion classes are taught by Catholic teachers. What is going on in the UK? It's bizarre, very perplexing.

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 12:43:19 UTC | #925362

PERSON's Avatar Comment 11 by PERSON

Comment 9 by Vorlund

Labour don't have such a policy at present. New Labour never would have, and they are still a relevant faction within the party. However, if public opinion was behind this, it's quite plausible the party as a whole would take it on as a policy, which the Tories would never do, although the Libs might (not whilst in coalition with the Tories, though). It's not about votes, that's part of the ongoing operation rather than the beginning of the process of democracy. It's about forming opinion and raising awareness. The religious are good at doing the former by creating false views of a situation. A simple declaration of policy would be meat and drink to them. It would be quickly destroyed by "popular outcry" based on swiftly contrived and publicised false perceptions.

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 12:46:58 UTC | #925364

Spawny Rosary's Avatar Comment 12 by Spawny Rosary

We need to keep banging on to our politicians that we demand a secular society, or to support an organisation that lobbies parliament on our behalf.

It disturbs me that this UK gov, and the previous, have done so much to promote faith based schools.

I subscribe in the UK to National Secular Society, as I think they do a good job. I have also written to my Member of Scottish Parliament to request that they take account of the public's wishes with regard to the recent IPSOS/Mori poll on the desire for a secular society.

Is the problem that we need more good secular politicians in the UK (and by this I do not necessarily mean non-religious of course)?

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 12:53:39 UTC | #925366

Cestriana's Avatar Comment 13 by Cestriana

I'm a member of the NSS too and agree with Spawny Rosary that they do a good job. Personally, I see this issue of trying to promote faith through state schools as more evidence of desperation. The religious are losing the battle and they know it. You only have to look around the churches in the UK on a Sunday to see how few people there are. Without doubt the kids have got better things to do.

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 13:38:07 UTC | #925371

Ivan The Not So Bad's Avatar Comment 14 by Ivan The Not So Bad

The long-term danger is to the teaching profession as a whole when the brightest graduates see that if they go into teaching then, without religion, their employment and promotion opportunities will be severely limited.

Even, putting that aside, they will also realise that, in some areas, they may not be able to teach openly, honestly and challengingly according to the best current knowledge or may be prevented from offering the fullest protection to bullied students.

The religious, on the other hand, can see opportunities employment and advancement purely on the fact of holding a belief and a willingness to indoctrinate children with it.

The whole profession could become gradually more stupid and religious.

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 13:41:25 UTC | #925373

hemidemisemigod's Avatar Comment 15 by hemidemisemigod

Comment 3 by phill marston :

I thought the UK had legislation to prevent discrimination in employment on the grounds of ethnic origin, colour, sex and religious conviction. Is it not against such legislation to advertise a post and say only people who can 'prove their faith' can apply? And if that's not illegal, if you advertise for a chaplain, who presumably would have to be ordained, when women are not eligible for ordination, isn't that discrimination on grounds of sex?

GOR Blimey!

It seems there are exceptions to the anti-discrimination laws if the employer can provide a "Genuine Occupational Requirement" for their discrimination.

"...and want to advance the Kingdom of God through church and school working closely together."

And The Lord said "Let my kingdom be advanced", and lo, it was not advanced, not even a little bit. And The Lord saw that it was not good and, after a bit of head scratching, decided to employ a headteacher.

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 13:43:16 UTC | #925374

jimbobjim's Avatar Comment 16 by jimbobjim

I think the NSS or the BHA had a job advertised about 6 months ago and used the same clause in that the person who would be promoting their work should be an atheist. That seems fair to me!

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 14:02:15 UTC | #925377

strangebrew's Avatar Comment 17 by strangebrew

It does seem the uber infected are indeed hanging on by finger nails to a privileged position in society This scheme is a last gasp desperation row attempt to not die out

They have really been pushing to get their paltry bollix into targeted schools...it is what dishonest religions do..infect 'em young yours for life!

It has never been about teaching responsibility and good citizenship...even morality...it has always been about numbers of bums on pews and tithes in bank accounts.

Take a quick look ...they are severely challenged on both accounts. They are really in deep tar up to their rancid armpits. The pit is their destiny but not in the way they have dreamed of in their more hysterical of moments.

Maybe they will have a moderate success for a short while in this latest wheeze...but they are doomed..the writing is on the wall...they know that and the fear is growing hence all the kafuffle recently whining about some aspect of intolerance against xianity or another.

Seems they have become aware that they are a literally a dying breed of moron but they aim to leave their filthy spoor all over society before they depart...a spoor which will insure sectarian and moral divides last longer then they...in the hope that similarly brain dead rejects in the future pick up the discarded baton and run with it again..after all bigotry...ignorance and hatreds...are a very human malady...get rid of the religious you still have the sheeple to deal with.

Thing is what excuse or vehicle would they then hide behind if religion did go tits up?

They would no doubt find something ignorance and stupidity always finds a way of irritating the rest of us!

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 14:07:17 UTC | #925380

peter mayhew's Avatar Comment 18 by peter mayhew

If you, like me, feel outraged at this, then why not donate to help support the BHA's campaigner against faith schools, Richy Thompson: http://www.justgiving.com/nofaithschools

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 14:08:18 UTC | #925381

JeffVader67's Avatar Comment 19 by JeffVader67

The NSS can winge all it wants. What they can't accept is that Church schools ( Particularly RC ) are hugely popular with parents ( Though obviously not the tiny minority of Guardian reading types ). They are also routinely at the top of the league tables, and massively oversubscribed.

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 14:58:23 UTC | #925383

drumdaddy's Avatar Comment 20 by drumdaddy

Not One Penny!

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 15:11:20 UTC | #925386

Vorlund's Avatar Comment 21 by Vorlund

Comment 11 by PERSON :

Comment 9 by Vorlund Labour don't have such a policy at present. New Labour never would have, and they are still a relevant faction within the party. However, if public opinion was behind this, it's quite plausible the party as a whole would take it on as a policy, which the Tories would never do, although the Libs might (not whilst in coalition with the Tories, though). It's not about votes, that's part of the ongoing operation rather than the beginning of the process of democracy. It's about forming opinion and raising awareness. The religious are good at doing the former by creating false views of a situation. A simple declaration of policy would be meat and drink to them. It would be quickly destroyed by "popular outcry" based on swiftly contrived and publicised false perceptions.

I don't take sufficient interest in party politick to debate, I'm sure you are correct for my part I can't tell the difference between labour or conservative governments except in recent decades the former seem to be good at spending us into debt and the latter think it is their job to to drag us out of it.

I was always amused that Tony Blair MP is an anagram of 'I'm Tory plan B'

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 15:20:56 UTC | #925389

Mark Jones's Avatar Comment 22 by Mark Jones

Comment 19 by JeffVader67

What they can't accept is that Church schools ( Particularly RC ) are hugely popular with parents ( Though obviously not the tiny minority of Guardian reading types ). They are also routinely at the top of the league tables, and massively oversubscribed.

What relevance does this comment have to the argument against faith schools, even if your slightly dubious assertions are granted?

The secular argument, on this point, seems to be:

Premise 1 - Discrimination against workers on grounds of religious belief is unfair

Premise 2 - Faith schools discriminate against workers on grounds of religious belief

Conclusion - Faith schools' practices are unfair

You are perhaps suggesting some additional premises?

Premise 1 - Discrimination against workers on grounds of religious belief is unfair

Premise 2 - Faith schools discriminate against workers on grounds of religious belief

Conclusion 1 - Faith schools' practices are unfair

Premise 3 - Discrimination against workers on grounds of religious belief is not unfair if the results are popular with parents

Premise 4 - Faith schools are popular with parents

Conclusion 2 - Faith schools' practices are not unfair

...or maybe:

Premise 3 - Discrimination against workers on grounds of religious belief is not unfair if the discriminator achieves better results

Premise 4 - Faith schools achieve better results than non-faith schools

Conclusion 2 - Faith schools' practices are not unfair

Is that your contention? Feel free to redraw the argument(s) you are putting forward as you wish. In particular, you need to do a bit of work around the two P3s, which look dodgy to me, and the second P4 doesn't seem to account for confounding variables. Or maybe you're simply saying that you approve of unfair practices?

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 15:34:55 UTC | #925390

Starcrash's Avatar Comment 23 by Starcrash

Comment 5 by mmurray :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voluntary_aided_school

It seems this lets religious institutions get their cake and eat it too.

Michael

I guess it depends on what "having greater influence over the school" means... do the benefactors get to pick the textbooks? Write the school code? Pick what class are taught?

It does appear to be a generous loophole to allow theism to be taught in schools, as many of these voluntary aided schools are "Catholic" schools. Great citation, Michael... it was a real eye-opener.

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 16:19:07 UTC | #925397

lol mahmood's Avatar Comment 24 by lol mahmood

Comment 19 by JeffVader67 :

The NSS can winge all it wants. What they can't accept is that Church schools ( Particularly RC ) are hugely popular with parents ( Though obviously not the tiny minority of Guardian reading types ). They are also routinely at the top

Recent studies suggest that the better results achieved by faith schools are the result of their admissions policies rather than any superiority in their teaching or cultural ethos.

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 16:36:33 UTC | #925407

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 25 by Alan4discussion

Comment 7 by f1vnc

It's also a bummer for teachers. Normal secular teachers are effectively blocked from applying to 50% of all UK schools for, say, promotion, unless they're ..

I know of one (lapsed) Catholic teacher who applied for a Deputy Head job at an RC school and got it (by lying through his teeth). After a couple of years, he then escaped back to rationality as the Head of a proper school, where he had plenty of amusing tales to tell.

There is also a knock on effect in that if a teacher has been appointed and promoted on the basis of religious discrimination, rather than merit, they can then use their experience in a promoted position to apply for senior posts (eg headships, deputy-headships) elsewhere in the system.

The UK education system can often produce good results because of the efforts of particular people, in-spite of some of the systems politicians have put in place.

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 17:00:53 UTC | #925412

Jonathan Dore's Avatar Comment 26 by Jonathan Dore

Comment 19 JeffVader:

...What they can't accept is that Church schools ( Particularly RC ) are hugely popular with parents...

I think the point that's being made is that this popularity (due to good results) is entirely artificially produced (by allowing these schools to discriminate in ways in which other schools are specifically forbidden from discriminating). The test is that when an equally good non-sectarian school is available, parents prefer that by a large margin over the religious one. Religious schools are popular with the general public (ie. other than professed believers) entirely in spite of their religion, not because of it.

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 17:08:20 UTC | #925416

Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 27 by Cartomancer

I have come across this sort of thing myself recently, having expanded my long and fruitless search for gainful employment to sixth-form colleges and secondary schools rather than just entry-level academic positions in Higher Education. And it's always the catholics. For some reason they're almost the only people who seem to want what I can offer. Even if they want anyone but me offering it to them.

As the holder of a doctorate in Medieval Intellectual History I probably know more about catholic dogma, doctrine, philosophy, thought and history than everyone else in the school combined, but will they consider me as a history or classics teacher? No, apparently the fact I take the catholic faith as seriously as I take the Aristotelian physics is a barrier there. Admittedly I despise the catholic church with a passion, and would feel deeply uncomfortable in such an environment, but the fact a state-funded sixth-form college should be such an environment in the first place is the real problem here.

Which makes me wonder... I'm gay. The catholics aren't especially keen on my sort, officially at least, so even if I WERE deluded enough to believe all the claptrap I would be discriminated against on these grounds. And the fact that the claptrap dissuades millions of gay people like myself from taking up or even pretending to be catholic for these purposes must surely count as constructive discrimination here?

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 17:18:16 UTC | #925419

AnthonyMiller's Avatar Comment 28 by AnthonyMiller

One of the highlights of my time at my United Reformed Church secondary school was when the prep school headmaster Mr Hawkins had a sudden road to Damascus conversion to Anglicanism and joined the Church of England. Several months later he started blanking me in the street whenever I bumped into him in Caterham and then announced that he was leaving his post as head of the prep school to go to another job in another school which happened to be Church of England.

Of course it could be that all this was entirely a matter of faith and after studying his faith and history seriously Mr Hawkins had come down in his soul against non-conformism. But really if, as a teacher, you cant lie about your faith ...then probably you're in the wrong career

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 17:59:18 UTC | #925428

BowDownToGizmo's Avatar Comment 29 by BowDownToGizmo

Comment 6 by Stephen of Wimbledon :

... is a clear instance of discriminatory and illegal practice as a qualified applicant with no membership of an organised religion could provide such a reference. I'm not a Teacher. Anyone out there qualified who might fancy becoming a cause célèbre?

Interesting idea....

Comment 27 by Cartomancer :

I have come across this sort of thing myself recently, having expanded my long and fruitless search for gainful employment to sixth-form colleges and secondary schools rather than just entry-level academic positions in Higher Education. >

hmmm.....

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 18:21:03 UTC | #925435

Matrix7's Avatar Comment 30 by Matrix7

I'm not sure that this is bad news (apart from the waste of taxpayers' money). It seems that faith schools are having trouble recruiting enough sufficiently indoctrinated head teachers. I look forward to the day when they can't find any....

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 19:47:34 UTC | #925449