Monday, September 24, 2007

For secular schooling

Those fond of claiming minority rights in the interests of maintaining state-sponsored religious schools often give the impression of being unaware that technically there are no non-religious schools, either in the Scottish system or in England and Wales. This is a legal reality that leaves the majority of us feeling rather uncatered for - uncared for, even - in this warm age of 'personal' public services, as Dr Paul Kelley, head of Monkseaton High School in Tyneside found out recently:
"He...wanted to change the way that religious education was taught, introducing tuition about a number of world views, some that involved faith and some that did not. He intended to follow a 'third way' that neither banished religion from the classroom completely nor had children attending daily worship.

'We wanted a fundamental change in the relationship with the school and the established religion of the country,' said Kelley, talking about the proposals he put forward towards the end of Tony Blair's premiership. 'They accepted it would be popular but said it was politically impossible.'"
Such imprecision in the use of these terms; I blame their teachers. Since, as the DofE admit, it would be popular, I would have thought such a change to religious education in our schools would, in a democracy, be politically highly feasible. What at present it would be is illegal, as this case demonstrates. Something those currently finding themselves 'oppressed' by the rise of 'militant atheism' might want to bear in mind the next time they have a spare mo' to get reacquainted with reality.

Via: Norm

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