Lancashire TelegraphNo recipe for true integration (From Lancashire Telegraph)

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No recipe for true integration

THE government’s go-ahead for England’s first free Muslim school to open in Blackburn in September has provoked a mixed response.

Many see variety of choice as a very important feature of good education and it is clear that the Tauheedul Islam Boys’ School, like its sister girls’ school, will have no problem at all filling places.

Tauheedul Islam Girls’ School has also quickly established a formidable reputation for academic success.

But opponents argue that yet another faith-based school is not good news.

East Lancashire already has more Church of England and Roman Catholic schools than most parts of the UK.

Blackburn has been highlighted as an area where too many people live ‘parallel lives’ and there is a need for integration rather than separation.

Faith schools have played a part in perpetuating community barriers in Northern Ireland.

Children will play and mix together from a young age without noticing different ethnic and religious backgrounds.

If they go to religiously-segregated schools, they are surely likely to grow up viewing large numbers of fellow citizens as ‘different’.

And that’s no recipe for a truly integrated, cohesive society.

Comments (1)

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1:48pm Fri 16 Sep 11

Excluded again says...

The creation of Tauheedul Islam Boys school as a state funded 'free school' is a worrying development in a way that the creation of Tauheedul Islam Girls School was not.

The Girls' School came into the local authority system on exactly the same basis as St Wilfred's or St Bede's. It was within the system and the Council had a role in encoraging and monitoring the school to operate just like other state schools, teach the National Curriculum and so on.

Tauheedul Islam Boys' School can do what it likes and there is no-one checking on it. It does not need to operate like other state schools or teach the National Curriculum or even employ qualified teachers.

This was always going to be the consequence of the government's Free Schools policy - increasing social and religious divisions in our society.
The creation of Tauheedul Islam Boys school as a state funded 'free school' is a worrying development in a way that the creation of Tauheedul Islam Girls School was not. The Girls' School came into the local authority system on exactly the same basis as St Wilfred's or St Bede's. It was within the system and the Council had a role in encoraging and monitoring the school to operate just like other state schools, teach the National Curriculum and so on. Tauheedul Islam Boys' School can do what it likes and there is no-one checking on it. It does not need to operate like other state schools or teach the National Curriculum or even employ qualified teachers. This was always going to be the consequence of the government's Free Schools policy - increasing social and religious divisions in our society. Excluded again
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