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← Shocking news on state-funded religious schools

peter mayhew's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by peter mayhew

Just so you know what pupils in church schools are put through, here are some quotes (along with my comments) from my kids school's recent "Anglican Schools' Inspection":

“The acknowledgement of the presence of God and the Christian values seen in action in the practise and policy of this school results in pupils making outstanding academic and personal development”. Any positive influence on the kids gets the “”God” or “Christian” label. It’s an insult to non-Christians, designed to give kids a positive view of Christianity.

“Focus for development: ensure that values have a greater explicit link to Christian teachings”. In other words, ensure that the kids know that they anything good comes from the Bible and Jesus. This seems sinister and divisive to me. Will they grow up thinking that non-Christians can’t be good?

“Everyone is recognized as a unique individual created by God”. Unsupported dogma, therefore anti-educational.

“The links between the daily life of the school, collective worship and religious education result in a celebration of faith at the heart of the school “like writing through a stick of rock”.” Faith is and has been the major hindrance to the positive development of human society: to celebrate it is tantamount to celebrating ignorance and theocracy. Kids should not be taught to celebrate faith: they should be taught critical thinking and a healthy skepticism.

“They confidently explain that in RE “we learn about the Christian faith and links with worship allows us the choice to learn how to be a better person””. In other words, they have been successfully indoctrinated, and will spend the rest of their lives trying to escape this early life experience. They have successfully been conditioned to think that Good=Christian. This is probably harmful to society.

“They…understand that their school is unique because “we all learn about and from God””. I’m curious how they learn from God, given that there’s no evidence for his existence. I wish their school was unique in this respect: actually I wish no school was like this at all.

“Pupils understand the need for forgiveness and a fresh start because Christian values underpin the rewards and sanctions policies.” This is very worrying. If they think that forgiveness stems from Christianity, what will they do when they give it up later in life, or how will they expect non-Christians to treat them? This seems socially divisive.

“Although school displays are effectively used to reinforce the distinctiveness of the school and promote pupils’ thinking, they sometimes lack links to specific Christian teachings”. Not enough positive spin then. But to be fair, I think that whenever they see something bad, they should also link that to specific Christian teachings too. It’s not hard to find them in the Bible.

“Worship is central to the life of the school as a time to “come together to learn about God””. A God, for which there is no supporting evidence. Therefore this is anti-educational. Is this statement consistent with the CofE’s own website which claims that its schools do not indoctrinate children? It certainly sounds as if these kids are indoctrinated, and it certainly sounds as if the inspectors want them to be.

“The atmosphere and quality of worship takes pupils to the threshold of worship, however the interest and deeper thinking of pupils allows them to fully engage with the worship and love of God”. People who think like this should not be allowed to inspect educational establishments.

“Pupils describe the high profile of prayer in school as “time to talk to God and say thank you or sorry””. They have clearly found their invisible friend.

“They make good use of opportunities to use the prayer corners in each classroom for personal reflection”. What will they do when God does not answer their prayers? Is this good for kids?

“The personal faith of the headteacher ensures that “the love of Jesus is central to the life of this school because God wants us to be the best we can””. Could I become headteacher of this school? I think not.

Thu, 05 Jan 2012 12:18:32 UTC | #905490