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Religion in schools

For discussions related to education and educational institutions.
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Alan C.
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#21 Post by Alan C. » August 22nd, 2007, 9:36 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

I read somewhere recently, that Alex Salmond was in favor of more Muslim schools :cross: Can anyone elaborate?
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whitecraw
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#22 Post by whitecraw » August 22nd, 2007, 10:03 pm

Though there was nothing about it in the SNP election manifesto, Wee Alex did go on record in the Sunday Times back in January 2007 as pledging to extend the right to denominational education, already enjoyed by Catholics, to other faiths. He said that, if the Nationalists emerged as the biggest party in the Bletherhaus (Scotland’s diddy-parliament), he would instruct Glasgow council to ensure that demands from Muslim parents for faith schools are met.

In a separate article in the same edition of the Sunday Times, he wrote:
I think the record of Catholic schools is first rate in Scotland. They are popular and effective and serve thousands of pupils well. It is interesting that none of the criticism of Catholic schools is based on their education record. I think that speaks volumes.

Alongside their educational record there is another issue of principle that I believe is equally important. I cannot conceive of changing the arrangement that was reached between the state and the Catholic Church without the agreement of the other party to that deal. Our bottom line has to be that Catholic schools remain for as long as the Catholic community in Scotland wants to have them.

Catholic schools are often cast as being somehow responsible for the scourge of sectarianism. I don¹t accept this argument and have not seen a shred of evidence to justify it. At its worst it seems to reject plurality in society on the alter of conformity.

Sectarian attitudes are deeply concerning but a very separate issue can and must be tackled in a range of ways. A strong signal in this regard would be the removal of the state sectarianism that is institutionalised in the Act of Settlement.

In summary instead of politicians lining up to attack Catholic education we should celebrate the distinctive contribution that Catholic schools make to Scottish education as a whole. We should conduct this debate in a positive and constructive way rather than a negative and defensive one.

On the wider issue of faith schools, I agree that we must listen to representations from within the Muslim community, in particular, and make a full assessment of the demand for Muslim schools. We already have the good example of the success of Scotland's Catholic schools and our successful Jewish school. My experience, strengthened by speaking to people around Scotland, is that our diversity as a nation is also one of our strengths. As a starting point I think we need honest criteria agreed and, if there is sustainable demand from within the community, move ahead with a pilot project within the state sector. I feel certain that this is the best way forward on this issue.

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Alan C.
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#23 Post by Alan C. » August 22nd, 2007, 10:09 pm

Jeeeeeezus whitecraw! I wish you hadn't posted that :angry:
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Alan H
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#24 Post by Alan H » August 23rd, 2007, 12:11 am

Just one of the reasons I would never vote for the SNP.

One of the perennial arguments here is to do with 'diversity'. The argument seems to be:

diversity is a fact of life in Scotland
diversity is good for Scotland
we should therefore encourage that diversity
we should therefore provide state-funded schools for the different diverse groups if they want them

Unfortunately, what got missed in this 'logic' is that with all these diverse schools, the classroom is no longer diverse and children no longer see that diversity and grow up outside of that diversity. This therefore destroys the diversity that was thought so precious in the first place.

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#25 Post by Fred » August 23rd, 2007, 8:54 am

That's horrific! I'll have to find out what Plaid's stance is. I voted for them for the 1st time in May. If they have the same stance as the SNP, it'll be the last time I vote for them! I suspect such a stance would be a vote loser in Wales. Well I hope it would.
Fred

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Oxfordrocks
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#26 Post by Oxfordrocks » September 11th, 2007, 1:16 pm

My local upper school in Oxford looks like it may become an "Academy".
Quote from the Docese of Oxford webite..."the lead sponsor of the new academy would be the Diocese of Oxford, working closely with the co-sponsor, Oxford Brookes University, and partners Oxford and Cherwell Valley College and BMW."

The area the school serves is one the largest council estates in Europe (Blackbird Leys) and it looks like the CofE can make a minor donation to the construction of new school premises but have a major say in the way subjects are taught.
The Diocese of Oxford posted this on their website..."The academies programme was first introduced in March 2000. The first academy projects were announced in September 2000, there are now nearly 60 of them in England. Academies are publicly funded ‘independent’ schools. Academies are all ability schools established by sponsors from business, faith or voluntary groups working in partnership with central government and local authorities. Under recently revised funding arrangements, the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) will provide the capital and running costs of future Academies"

There have been public meetings to discuss the proposals but I'm not aware of the outcome.

tehabwa
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#27 Post by tehabwa » October 21st, 2007, 7:10 pm

WOW!

I don't see a shocked smiley, or I'd use it.

In response to my intro, where I said I'm interested in educational reform, someone replied they were too, but seemed to assume that meant getting religion out of schools.

So I found this thread, and read up, and my American eyeballs are spinning backwards in my head.

It's so different here. I'd never really thought about it.

When I was a child, in the 60's, I had one substitute teacher who announced that she was going to ignore the recent Supreme Court ruling, and teach us a prayer-song to sing before lunch.

That was the entire amount of religion in my schooling in what we call public -- that is the free school that almost everyone goes to -- school system.

Well, they pray over you at graduation (I skipped the high school ceremony). But that's it.

Although there's a lot of talk about prayer in school, and tatooing the 10 Commandments on everyone's forhead, they can never get past the First Amendment prohibition against the government's shoving religion down people's throats.

There are religion-based schools, too. They can do what they want. But taxes don't support them. Actually, that should read "because taxes don't support them."

The growing trend among the religious nut-cases is home-schooling. And there are universities where you can get religious "education" (yes, at some private -- that is, not government-funded -- colleges, you can "study" "creation science.")

So, on the one hand, the wing-nuts have an almost impossible battle to put religion in the schools that over 90% of students attend, the freebie schools; on the other, it seems unthinkable that anything could be done to get rid of religion-based schools. I found that concept just as shocking as the talk of religion being taught in your default schools.

Just thought you might be interested in how different it is across the pond.

Um, is there a spell-chack function I'm missing? This type is tiny, and I've already embarrased myself (had to use a red-faced emoticon and everything!) over sloppy typpage.

So, have I shocked you as much as y'all shocked me?

:wink:

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Lifelinking
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#28 Post by Lifelinking » October 21st, 2007, 7:13 pm

how very cool to have you here Tehabwa. And thank you for the enlightening post about the schooling situation in the US. :welcome:




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Maria Mac
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#29 Post by Maria Mac » October 21st, 2007, 7:36 pm

Many thanks for your very interesting and informative post, T.
tehabwa wrote:WOW!

I don't see a shocked smiley, or I'd use it.
If you click on 'View more Emoticons' below the smilies next to the text box, it will bring up all the smilies we have in a new window, including these: :shock: :supershock:
Um, is there a spell-chack function I'm missing? This type is tiny, and I've already embarrased myself (had to use a red-faced emoticon and everything!) over sloppy typpage.
If you find the text too small I suggest using the 'increase text size' option in the view menu in your browser. When you type in the text book, misspelt words come out with a red line underneath them. If you right click on these words the correct spelling will be shown. But please don't worry about typos and spelling. Nobody here is spelling/grammar/typo nazi.
So, have I shocked you as much as y'all shocked me?
Personally, because the web is dominated by Americans and I spend so much time on it, I feel I already know quite a lot about how things are over there re religion (though it was certainly a huge shock when I first got on-line some years ago). The thing that I have most trouble getting my head round is the home schooling movement. It sounds bizarre.

squiffy
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#30 Post by squiffy » October 22nd, 2007, 10:46 am

It's compulsory in Northern Ireland too and the GCSE curriculum is purely christian.

I thought this was an interesting reform, they are only obliged to include the children registered at the school in the required collective act of worship,
Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 1989.,

http://www.deni.gov.uk/22-circular_comm ... _final.pdf

This is the link to the Northern Ireland examinations board.

http://www.rewardinglearning.org.uk/qua ... =&s=76&v=0

It's a bit of a wade through the site as it's all PDFs, but this is the specific bit for GCSE RS.,

1.8 SPECIFICATION STRUCTURE
This specification allows schools to meet the requirements for the statutory provision of religious education in accordance with Article 13 of the Education Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 1989. It also provides pupils with the opportunity to pursue a coherent and structured study of religion. Attention is given in the specification to the different dimensions of religion, ie belief, experience, ritual, and so on, as these dimensions are expressed in different historical, cultural and religious contexts.
The subject content is divided into three sections, reflecting the distinction in the Northern Ireland Core Syllabus for Religious Education. These are as follows:
• The Challenge of Jesus;
• The Christian Church Explored through Contrasting Denominations;
• Christian Morality.
The order in which the subject content is presented is not intended to imply a proposed teaching order. Teachers are free to organise the teaching of the content as they think appropriate, but should emphasise the interrelationship of the different sections. Sections A and B will be assessed in Paper 1 of each tier and Section C in Paper 2. The subject content is described in detail in Section 3 of this specification.



It's quite good fun jumping through the hoops to withdraw them from GCSE RS and assembly. One child who's family are JW and one Muslim child - no questions asked; one child who's a heathen and Chicken Licken couldn't have made more fuss!

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Alan H
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#31 Post by Alan H » October 22nd, 2007, 12:55 pm

Maria wrote:Nobody here is spelling/grammar/typo nazi.
...apart from me, that is! :grin:

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Oxfordrocks
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#32 Post by Oxfordrocks » November 8th, 2007, 5:18 pm

Thanks (once again) to Alan H's Media scan.
this story caught my eye: From my local rag

This is part of the middle school I went as a youngster. The whole campus is owned by the CofE (Oxford Diocese)but is now split into 3 parts.

Muslim School http://www.iqraschool.org.uk/
Evangelical Christian schoolhttp://www.ecschool.co.uk/
And a "run of the mill" CofE school.http://www.jhnewman.oxon.sch.uk/

this means ther is now NO primary/middle school in the immediate area which does not have a "religious bent" and with our main upper school to recieve funding from the CofE things are looking very bleak indeed.
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#33 Post by Alan C. » November 12th, 2007, 3:49 pm

Anybody want a job?
BHA is now seeking to appoint a worker who will be wholly dedicated to its campaign in the area of faith schools, and in particular to develop links with organisations - both religious and secular - which share its vision of an inclusive education system.
FAITH SCHOOLS CAMPAIGNER - BHA
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Alan C.
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#34 Post by Alan C. » December 14th, 2007, 1:36 pm

It looks like the Irish are waking up to the fact that "faith" schools are divisive. Take note Ed Balls.
State to open pilot non-religious schools.
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whitecraw
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#35 Post by whitecraw » December 14th, 2007, 2:32 pm

Couple of points regarding Mary Hanafin’s announcement..

Firstly, the new community school being proposed are not non-denominational but inter-denominational, ‘aiming to provide for religious education and faith formation during the school day for each of the main faith groups represented’. This is a far cry from promoting a purely secular ethos. This is likely why Bishop O'Reilly, chair of the education commission of the Irish Bishops' Conference, is so welcoming of the choice and diversity they offer: they will accommodate the wishes of parents of different faith backgrounds and reflect their sincerely held convictions and values. These schools will do little to stifle the cultural differences that divide people.

Secondly, given that the source of all our ills is the fact that people do proceed differently in opinion, evaluation, customs and habits, shouldn’t the Irish government, instead of pandering to multiculturalism and the perceived ‘rights’ of different cultural communities, be seeking to go further and refuse to accommodate (as Bishop O’Reilly puts it) ‘the rights and needs [sic] of people of different faith backgrounds, and of none, to an education which reflects, as far as possible, their sincerely held convictions and values’?

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Re: Religion in schools

#36 Post by peterangus » January 12th, 2008, 12:13 pm

I like this article, by Richard Heller, in the Yorkshire Post.
http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/opinion/ ... 3652772.jp
Here's an excerpt:
Faith schools exist as an emanation of religious faith. Their central and universal premise is that children are better people if they adhere to one particular faith. All other children are in some way inferior or diminished, perhaps even pitiable. They may need to be converted, saved or redeemed: at best, they can be tolerated but never regarded as equal.

That is what a faith school entails. It is bad enough that the state should fund such an outlook at taxpayers' expense, but to do so in the name of social integration is preposterous
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Alan H
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Re: Religion in schools

#37 Post by Alan H » January 12th, 2008, 12:16 pm

That is spot on! There is some stuff in the media today about parents baptising their kids into the Catholic church just to get them into Catholic schools - watch for some articles in my MediaScan later today.
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Re: Religion in schools

#38 Post by xman » January 12th, 2008, 6:01 pm

No prayer worship or religious teaching should be allowed in schools. No exceptions. If parents want to indoctrinate their children in the ways of their god(s), let 'em do it on their own time. Your faith has no place in my school. End of discussion. I had one teacher who took it upon himself to occasionally ask us to pray together back in grade 4 and I didn't know better because I was too young, but I believe he was asked to stop and did. Too long ago now to really remember except that he was an exceptionally good teacher and a great guy. I still remember him fondly, just not the religious part.

Comparative religious studies are fine, even good for higher education re. cultural perspectives, but if we're talking about morals and ethics why are the Greek philosophers and renaissance free thinkers left out? Seems to me you can't have a meaningful discussion about philosophical topics without including the philosophers. Heck, this should be the core of any Morals & Ethics curriculum.

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Alan H
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Re: Religion in schools

#39 Post by Alan H » January 12th, 2008, 6:24 pm

Alan H wrote:There is some stuff in the media today about parents baptising their kids into the Catholic church just to get them into Catholic schools - watch for some articles in my MediaScan later today.
See today's MediaScan, which has several articles on this. If you want to get my MediaScan emails, let me know!
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Re: Religion in schools

#40 Post by peterangus » January 12th, 2008, 7:34 pm

xman wrote:........ If parents want to indoctrinate their children in the ways of their god(s), let 'em do it on their own time. ..........

X
No-one should be allowed to indoctrinate children.
Not priests.
Not politicians.
Not parents.
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Alan C.
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Re: Religion in schools

#41 Post by Alan C. » January 19th, 2008, 4:03 pm

From today's Times.
Far worse than the threat from international terrorism is the aggressive process of secularisation that has gripped our country,
So our children are not brought to a sense of holiness and awe, but are merely taught the meanings of religious terms as sociological descriptions. This deprivation of the spiritual is a form of child abuse.
Beware the dark side of the new moral consensus.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

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