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← Faith School Menace? (Now visible in US)

alphcat's Avatar Jump to comment 30 by alphcat

I think a lot of people here are assuming that faith schools are only chosen by people of faith to indoctrinate their young. Not quite the case in reality. The popular and oversubscribed ones are popular for exactly the same reason that other good schools are oversubscribed, because of their position in the league tables and their exam results. I've known vehement ex catholic athiests send their kids to catholic school and others with no real faith suddenly convert when the school league tables are published.

As for teaching science incorrectly as stated by Chupacabra-the teaching of creationism is thankfully forbidden by the national curriculum which all state schools (faith or otherwise) have to adhere to. Creationism is not generally accepted by either the RC or CofE churches who tend to run most of the faith schools. In additon when creationist teachers have been found spreading garbage in English schools it's quite often been in secular ones such as the Bluecoat school in Liverpool.

My local secular school has gcse A* to C pass rate of 23% and is in special measures (i.e. just above a fail from ofsted). It offers a science 'gcse equivalent' to push it's pass rate up. I don't know if this even touches on evolution but when we've interviewed children who've taken it to assess whether they'd cope with A level we've found it sadly lacking in scientific content and understanding. In my nearest RC school the pass rate is 80% and it's rated outstanding. It has an excellent science department and seems to teach all of the recommended PSHE syllabus, including the bits that the Pope wouldn't like.

Faith schools, like all other schools, are as good as the people running them. Religious fanatics putting faith above standards tend not to be running popular schools. In principle I'm against them but principles are a luxury most of us can't afford. The issue is a very complex one I'm afraid.

Sun, 15 Aug 2010 15:23:11 UTC | #500631