Thursday, July 03, 2008

Work All Week

There is an article by Zoe Williams on faith schools in the Guardian today which I don’t particularly agree with but it raises some interesting points and contains a line which perfectly echoes my sentiments regarding the parents who will do anything to get their nippers in to a faith school: ” And if you really examine the social environment in these desirable schools, isn't it just characterised by obnoxious, pushy, lying, middle-class people?” I've said before that it amazes me how in this area, children are devoted to the Church Of Wales until the age of 11 only to, en masse, become Catholics from the age of of 11-16. I have no doubt that if Wiccans provided the best education, half the buggers up our street would have their children worshiping a horned God.

Williams concludes that it is pointless railing against faith schools and instead we should all battle for for state schools to be brought up to a similar standard. It’s a nice idea but an impossible task. They are too big, the numbers of disinterested or just too many; teachers have to concentrate all their energies on the lowest achieving, at the expense of the brightest, who are left to endure days of unutterable ennui. I cannot see any government having the will to put enough resources into these schools to make much of a difference.

I would have nothing against faith schools if they were self funding, but they are not, they exist because by and large the taxpayer funds them. I say, if the buggers feel strongly enough that they want their kids educated according to a particular religious doctrine, let them pay for it. If the funds that go into the faith schools went into mainstream schools, and more of these apparently brighter kids were then motivated (admittedly by financial concerns) to attend mainstream schools, there might be a levelling up, rather than a levelling down.

Even if I’m wrong, I don’t care, faith schools should be made to stand on their own two feet; the whole sector is a farce and religion has nothing to with the intake. As Williams points out they are ghetto's for pushy, obnoxious, middle class charlatans and I don’t really see why the state should help them at all.

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