Lancashire TelegraphAre our faith schools dividing communities? (From Lancashire Telegraph)

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Are our faith schools dividing communities?

Lancashire Telegraph: The issue of faith schools has divided opinion The issue of faith schools has divided opinion

PROFESSOR Ted Cantle, author of reports into community cohesion in both Burnley and Blackburn with Darwen, is certain faith schools add to the problems of segregation in East Lancashire and nationwide.

He said: “I have no doubt such problems partly caused by schools where admissions are characterised by ethnicity are made worse when pupils are chosen by religion or Christian denomination. 

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“You only have to look at the problems of Northern Ireland, where 96 per cent of children go to segregated faith schools, to see the worst consequences.

“I feel that the growth of faith education in East Lancashire will worsen the problems of people from different communities living ‘parallel lives’ I first highlighted after the Burnley riots in 2001. ”

His view is echoed by National Union of Teachers’ Blackburn with Darwen branch secretary Simon Jones but disputed by Lisa Fenton, Blackburn Church of England Diocese’s senior adviser to schools.

Richard Varey, head of a large Roman Catholic secondary in Burnley, also believes a proper faith education benefits children from all backgrounds.

Miss Fenton said: “Church schools have been providing excellent education within a clear framework of Christian values to all members of the local community for hundreds of years.

“They are places where the curriculum is rich with experiences that will develop the child spiritually, morally, socially and culturally.

“Church schools strive to ensure that every child in their care flourishes both academically and as a whole person, preparing them for life in this ever changing and challenging world.

“In church schools,children and young people are encouraged to ask, explore and discover answers to life’s big questions.”

Mr Varey, head of Blessed Trinity RC College where 65 per cent of the 1,200 pupils are Roman Catholics, said: “I believe we provide a good education for all pupils. That applies whether they are Catholics or not.

"Our faith in Jesus underpins our teaching and benefits all our pupils. We do not select on faith alone and we teach about other faiths and denominations and about the importance of diversity and tolerance.”

Mr Jones said: “I agree with Professor Cantle. I believe faith schools add to the problems of segregation. would prefer a system without them. It applies to different Christian denominations — look at Northern Ireland to see the problems there.

“I know of RC schools where only fish was served on Friday and pupils were told not to go to Bonfire Nights because Guy Fawkes was a Catholic.

“Equally, there are evangelical Christian schools where tombolas are banned from fund-raising fetes as gambling, and where creationism is taught instead of evolution in science, all of which are unacceptable to me.”

Tehmina Kazi , director of British Muslims for Secular Democracy, featured in the programme with Professor Cantle.

She said: “Where faith schools do not select pupils on religion alone and teach about tolerance, diversity and other cultures they can play a valuable role.

“But some faith schools take a much narrower view and they can worsen segregation, division and, in some cases, cause hatred.”

Comments (27)

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9:42am Thu 17 Jul 14

The Seagull has landed says...

Yes.
Yes. The Seagull has landed
  • Score: 26

9:45am Thu 17 Jul 14

Primus622 says...

Religion has a lot to answer for...I would prefer to live in a world without any of it....I don't need the bible or any other fairy story to tell me the difference between right and wrong
Religion has a lot to answer for...I would prefer to live in a world without any of it....I don't need the bible or any other fairy story to tell me the difference between right and wrong Primus622
  • Score: 30

9:59am Thu 17 Jul 14

jimpy0 says...

its not the fiction based books, but peoples interpetation of them.
its not the fiction based books, but peoples interpetation of them. jimpy0
  • Score: 19

10:00am Thu 17 Jul 14

rudis_dad says...

Our communities are already divided. Faith schools are adding to the problem.
Our communities are already divided. Faith schools are adding to the problem. rudis_dad
  • Score: 37

10:17am Thu 17 Jul 14

ikap22 says...

Every thing is good, we English accept every thing. We have multicultural country, we should embrace all the worldly reglion. We now even have started to pay benefits to other countries. Absolutely wonderful!
Every thing is good, we English accept every thing. We have multicultural country, we should embrace all the worldly reglion. We now even have started to pay benefits to other countries. Absolutely wonderful! ikap22
  • Score: -9

10:30am Thu 17 Jul 14

Frisson says...

there is no room in education for fanciful made up stories (religion)
there is no room in education for fanciful made up stories (religion) Frisson
  • Score: 16

10:52am Thu 17 Jul 14

jimpy0 says...

the headline is misleading - "we" do not have a problem with ALL faith schools, --- just some with narrow insular views feeding segregation.
the headline is misleading - "we" do not have a problem with ALL faith schools, --- just some with narrow insular views feeding segregation. jimpy0
  • Score: 2

11:07am Thu 17 Jul 14

Casper's mum says...

Many friendships from an early age are developed at school. If schools segregate according to religion or gender then children will develop friendships within these small circles. This segregation may continue into adulthood unless new friendships are made within a working environment.

As a child, I went to a non-faith, mixed gender school and had a mix of friends.
My neighbour went to the all-girl school and the majority of her friends as a teenager were girls.
I imagine a child who goes to an Islamic school will mostly have develop friendships within the Muslim community .
Many friendships from an early age are developed at school. If schools segregate according to religion or gender then children will develop friendships within these small circles. This segregation may continue into adulthood unless new friendships are made within a working environment. As a child, I went to a non-faith, mixed gender school and had a mix of friends. My neighbour went to the all-girl school and the majority of her friends as a teenager were girls. I imagine a child who goes to an Islamic school will mostly have develop friendships within the Muslim community . Casper's mum
  • Score: 15

12:11pm Thu 17 Jul 14

HelmshoreMan2010 says...

I can go one step further to fixing the headline:

"Are our local news papers dividing communities?"

Yet again the LT with it's racial hatred spoon mixing things up.
I can go one step further to fixing the headline: "Are our local news papers dividing communities?" Yet again the LT with it's racial hatred spoon mixing things up. HelmshoreMan2010
  • Score: -13

12:43pm Thu 17 Jul 14

AndyD123 says...

kids believe what adults tell them - which is why religions like to run schools. They can spoon feed what ever nonsense their particular religion states as fact (much of which has been reliably proven false by science) and the kids will accept it without question.
kids believe what adults tell them - which is why religions like to run schools. They can spoon feed what ever nonsense their particular religion states as fact (much of which has been reliably proven false by science) and the kids will accept it without question. AndyD123
  • Score: 16

12:59pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Primus622 says...

jimpy0 wrote:
its not the fiction based books, but peoples interpetation of them.
Without the books people would have nothing to misinterpret..
[quote][p][bold]jimpy0[/bold] wrote: its not the fiction based books, but peoples interpetation of them.[/p][/quote]Without the books people would have nothing to misinterpret.. Primus622
  • Score: 7

2:11pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Ian the Beancounter says...

There will always be this problem until the "authorities" realise that education and religion do not mix - indeed, it's a toxic blend and we only have to look around us to see its effect. Schools are institutions which are there to educate our kids to have a practical and theoretical knowledge of the skills they will need to function in adult life. If they, or their parents, want a religious or spiritual aspect to their education, then there are more than enough churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, etc. to fulfil that function. Religion, of any variety, has no place in our schools and can be destructive.
There will always be this problem until the "authorities" realise that education and religion do not mix - indeed, it's a toxic blend and we only have to look around us to see its effect. Schools are institutions which are there to educate our kids to have a practical and theoretical knowledge of the skills they will need to function in adult life. If they, or their parents, want a religious or spiritual aspect to their education, then there are more than enough churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, etc. to fulfil that function. Religion, of any variety, has no place in our schools and can be destructive. Ian the Beancounter
  • Score: 13

2:19pm Thu 17 Jul 14

AnotherPounding4Burnley says...

Segregation starts in schools with faith, all schools should be faithless.
Segregation starts in schools with faith, all schools should be faithless. AnotherPounding4Burnley
  • Score: 16

2:26pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Reality50 says...

Labour councils who time and again give the go ahead to Muslim only schools are to blame for the lack of integration amongst young people. Faith schools should be closed down in my view.
Labour councils who time and again give the go ahead to Muslim only schools are to blame for the lack of integration amongst young people. Faith schools should be closed down in my view. Reality50
  • Score: 8

2:51pm Thu 17 Jul 14

kenbro says...

Schools should educate and integrate, not indoctrinate and segregate.
The present movement to more faith oriented schools will only deepen the differences in our society. The negatives far outweigh the positives.
The movement is being energized by the extremists in all the faiths.
We should strive for fewer faith schools, not more.
Schools should educate and integrate, not indoctrinate and segregate. The present movement to more faith oriented schools will only deepen the differences in our society. The negatives far outweigh the positives. The movement is being energized by the extremists in all the faiths. We should strive for fewer faith schools, not more. kenbro
  • Score: 15

5:03pm Thu 17 Jul 14

moxhie says...

How fundamentalist , dogmatic and pontificating are the secularists who would force their agenda down our throats given the chance .

They consider themselves to be infallible and to have the non-god given right to control the lives of others .

Fortunately there are enough tolerant people in our society to prevent them from ever having their way without a hell of a fight .
How fundamentalist , dogmatic and pontificating are the secularists who would force their agenda down our throats given the chance . They consider themselves to be infallible and to have the non-god given right to control the lives of others . Fortunately there are enough tolerant people in our society to prevent them from ever having their way without a hell of a fight . moxhie
  • Score: -10

7:17pm Thu 17 Jul 14

ghost of sceptic says...

We should be honest enough to answer the question. Do you want to integrate? My answer would be no. I have nothing in common with people of the muslim faith and probably never will. My social life, my interests and my way of life are a million miles away from the way most people of the muslim faith live there life. I have nothing in common with people from pakistan or Bangladesh so why would i want to integrate.
We should be honest enough to answer the question. Do you want to integrate? My answer would be no. I have nothing in common with people of the muslim faith and probably never will. My social life, my interests and my way of life are a million miles away from the way most people of the muslim faith live there life. I have nothing in common with people from pakistan or Bangladesh so why would i want to integrate. ghost of sceptic
  • Score: 9

10:57pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Excluded again says...

The state and the taxpayer should not fund faith schools. State schools should not promote one particular faith using public money.
The state and the taxpayer should not fund faith schools. State schools should not promote one particular faith using public money. Excluded again
  • Score: 15

11:07pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Graham Hartley says...

no clapping in class = closing plan panics (anagram)

We who cannot know how current social experiments will be viewed in history are obliged to form a view, to cast the lot. Given the history of religious influence in this country - which reaches as far as the monarchy - any who are opposed to it must be organised in ways that the non-religious groups are not. Settle down at the back! Innit.
no clapping in class = closing plan panics (anagram) We who cannot know how current social experiments will be viewed in history are obliged to form a view, to cast the lot. Given the history of religious influence in this country - which reaches as far as the monarchy - any who are opposed to it must be organised in ways that the non-religious groups are not. Settle down at the back! Innit. Graham Hartley
  • Score: -2

2:35am Fri 18 Jul 14

salvadore says...

Reality50 wrote:
Labour councils who time and again give the go ahead to Muslim only schools are to blame for the lack of integration amongst young people. Faith schools should be closed down in my view.
Islamic schools are a recent phenomenon, it seems like you have a problem with just muslim schools. Where were you when catholic and c of e schools only took people that went to church. Typical there's only a problem when others faiths want equality in having their own schools.
[quote][p][bold]Reality50[/bold] wrote: Labour councils who time and again give the go ahead to Muslim only schools are to blame for the lack of integration amongst young people. Faith schools should be closed down in my view.[/p][/quote]Islamic schools are a recent phenomenon, it seems like you have a problem with just muslim schools. Where were you when catholic and c of e schools only took people that went to church. Typical there's only a problem when others faiths want equality in having their own schools. salvadore
  • Score: -4

2:38am Fri 18 Jul 14

salvadore says...

Graham Hartley wrote:
no clapping in class = closing plan panics (anagram)

We who cannot know how current social experiments will be viewed in history are obliged to form a view, to cast the lot. Given the history of religious influence in this country - which reaches as far as the monarchy - any who are opposed to it must be organised in ways that the non-religious groups are not. Settle down at the back! Innit.
Wow now I've heard it all, q
[quote][p][bold]Graham Hartley[/bold] wrote: no clapping in class = closing plan panics (anagram) We who cannot know how current social experiments will be viewed in history are obliged to form a view, to cast the lot. Given the history of religious influence in this country - which reaches as far as the monarchy - any who are opposed to it must be organised in ways that the non-religious groups are not. Settle down at the back! Innit.[/p][/quote]Wow now I've heard it all, q salvadore
  • Score: 4

6:47am Fri 18 Jul 14

Excluded again says...

salvadore wrote:
Reality50 wrote:
Labour councils who time and again give the go ahead to Muslim only schools are to blame for the lack of integration amongst young people. Faith schools should be closed down in my view.
Islamic schools are a recent phenomenon, it seems like you have a problem with just muslim schools. Where were you when catholic and c of e schools only took people that went to church. Typical there's only a problem when others faiths want equality in having their own schools.
Most posts on this forum have been against all faith schools.

Schools which segregate pupils on the basis of any faith - Christianity, Hinduism, Islam etc - are all equally as bad. The state should not be funding schools which divide children by the faith of their parents and promote one faith above other faiths or no faith at all.
[quote][p][bold]salvadore[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Reality50[/bold] wrote: Labour councils who time and again give the go ahead to Muslim only schools are to blame for the lack of integration amongst young people. Faith schools should be closed down in my view.[/p][/quote]Islamic schools are a recent phenomenon, it seems like you have a problem with just muslim schools. Where were you when catholic and c of e schools only took people that went to church. Typical there's only a problem when others faiths want equality in having their own schools.[/p][/quote]Most posts on this forum have been against all faith schools. Schools which segregate pupils on the basis of any faith - Christianity, Hinduism, Islam etc - are all equally as bad. The state should not be funding schools which divide children by the faith of their parents and promote one faith above other faiths or no faith at all. Excluded again
  • Score: 3

7:51am Fri 18 Jul 14

sorrywhatwasthat says...

ghost of sceptic wrote:
We should be honest enough to answer the question. Do you want to integrate? My answer would be no. I have nothing in common with people of the muslim faith and probably never will. My social life, my interests and my way of life are a million miles away from the way most people of the muslim faith live there life. I have nothing in common with people from pakistan or Bangladesh so why would i want to integrate.
You do have things in common,you have the same colour of blood and your made up of bones and muscle.
I realise attitudes are different as I don't agree with encouraging teenagers to get involved in relationships that they are not advised about properly and then everyone complains about teenage pregnancy. Teenagers in my opinion should be encouraged to concentrate on schooling and having friends.Teenagers are already confused at that age they don't need added pressure.
[quote][p][bold]ghost of sceptic[/bold] wrote: We should be honest enough to answer the question. Do you want to integrate? My answer would be no. I have nothing in common with people of the muslim faith and probably never will. My social life, my interests and my way of life are a million miles away from the way most people of the muslim faith live there life. I have nothing in common with people from pakistan or Bangladesh so why would i want to integrate.[/p][/quote]You do have things in common,you have the same colour of blood and your made up of bones and muscle. I realise attitudes are different as I don't agree with encouraging teenagers to get involved in relationships that they are not advised about properly and then everyone complains about teenage pregnancy. Teenagers in my opinion should be encouraged to concentrate on schooling and having friends.Teenagers are already confused at that age they don't need added pressure. sorrywhatwasthat
  • Score: -1

9:52am Fri 18 Jul 14

Jimbok says...

HelmshoreMan2010 wrote:
I can go one step further to fixing the headline:

"Are our local news papers dividing communities?"

Yet again the LT with it's racial hatred spoon mixing things up.
Best not discuss it and any problems will miraculously go away?
[quote][p][bold]HelmshoreMan2010[/bold] wrote: I can go one step further to fixing the headline: "Are our local news papers dividing communities?" Yet again the LT with it's racial hatred spoon mixing things up.[/p][/quote]Best not discuss it and any problems will miraculously go away? Jimbok
  • Score: -2

9:54am Fri 18 Jul 14

Jimbok says...

It's apartheid under a different name
It's apartheid under a different name Jimbok
  • Score: 3

10:17am Fri 18 Jul 14

HelmshoreMan2010 says...

Jimbok wrote:
HelmshoreMan2010 wrote:
I can go one step further to fixing the headline:

"Are our local news papers dividing communities?"

Yet again the LT with it's racial hatred spoon mixing things up.
Best not discuss it and any problems will miraculously go away?
The only problem in this country causing a divide in communities is the British attitude. I have a couple of Muslim neighbours who are one of the loveliest nicest families I have had the pleasure of meeting. They told me the reason they don't want to integrate is because of the attitudes of the people they try to integrate with.

Just take a look at the hatred spouted on the comment section of this site. Would you want to integrate with those people if that level of hatred was aimed at you?

All the LT seem to ever do is print stories to emphasise the issues people already have and this is never going to help anybody.

Just remember next time you walk past somebody different to you and they keep their head down and just walk past, chances are they are probably more scared of you and your opinion than not liking you.

I remembered last time I blamed problems with race on our side, I got a record number of negative votes but not one person bothered to explain why so please feel free to include a comment with every negative vote.
[quote][p][bold]Jimbok[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]HelmshoreMan2010[/bold] wrote: I can go one step further to fixing the headline: "Are our local news papers dividing communities?" Yet again the LT with it's racial hatred spoon mixing things up.[/p][/quote]Best not discuss it and any problems will miraculously go away?[/p][/quote]The only problem in this country causing a divide in communities is the British attitude. I have a couple of Muslim neighbours who are one of the loveliest nicest families I have had the pleasure of meeting. They told me the reason they don't want to integrate is because of the attitudes of the people they try to integrate with. Just take a look at the hatred spouted on the comment section of this site. Would you want to integrate with those people if that level of hatred was aimed at you? All the LT seem to ever do is print stories to emphasise the issues people already have and this is never going to help anybody. Just remember next time you walk past somebody different to you and they keep their head down and just walk past, chances are they are probably more scared of you and your opinion than not liking you. I remembered last time I blamed problems with race on our side, I got a record number of negative votes but not one person bothered to explain why so please feel free to include a comment with every negative vote. HelmshoreMan2010
  • Score: 1

11:13am Sat 19 Jul 14

crankitup says...

the government and other big wigs go on and on about community cohesion but in the same breath allow faith school after faith school to open......YES they cause problems.....mistrus
t, suspicion, they will never be community cohesion, and i'm saying that as a person who has witnessed the hostility between Asians and white lads.....you can try all you want to lead a horse to water.....but you can never make it drink and that's just my opinion but an educated one at that.
the government and other big wigs go on and on about community cohesion but in the same breath allow faith school after faith school to open......YES they cause problems.....mistrus t, suspicion, they will never be community cohesion, and i'm saying that as a person who has witnessed the hostility between Asians and white lads.....you can try all you want to lead a horse to water.....but you can never make it drink and that's just my opinion but an educated one at that. crankitup
  • Score: 1

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