This alarming article by a teacher in England should wake us up about “School Choice” and Vouchers and the whole homeschooling mess.
The writer is a Headteacher who has taught for 35 years.
“In 2014 there were 6,848 state funded faith schools – about a third of the total and around a 3% increase in the last decade. Jewish and Muslim faith schools, a tiny minority of these, increased from 37 to 48 and from 7 to 18 respectively over the last 7 years. 1.8 million students are in faith schools. Most of these are Catholic or Church of England primary schools.
In 36 years in multi-cultural East London schools and a largely mono-cultural Hertfordshire town I have taught around 7,000 children aged 11-18. I have known many churchgoing Christian children, active Catholics, practising Hindus and Sikhs. Muslims studied alongside other faiths and we had small numbers of Baptists, Buddhists and at least 8 Jehovah Witnesses. But never a Jewish child.”
He makes a strong point at the end:
“I do worry when I see so many children waving the flag of Israel on a school website; we might all be expected to worry if Muslims were pictured with the Saudi flag enthusiastically paraded. We worry anyway if the English flag is given prominence.
We should live, work and study side by side in mutual respect of different traditions and cultures. We should celebrate and proclaim the characteristics that can bring us together. Let’s promote acceptance of others, both within the school community and in the wider world, incorporating values such as caring, kindness and charity. Study together in secular schools for a better world.”
That’s a hopeful, rational vision. But that vision faces strong opposition from the Sectarian School Choice people who want all the rest of us to give them money to preach.
Are you as concerned as I am about this segregation of sectarian schools?
How do you feel about paying for kids to be “educated” this way?
(oh, and if you’re a supporter, how do you feel about giving your tax dollars to the OTHER sectarian school down the block?)