January 7th, 2007


Faith Schools

"Faith Schools: Abolishing Sectarian Education Decreases Inter-Racial Violence and Curbs Religious Extremism" by Vexen Crabtree (2003)

Page has a new conclusion and has been lightly edited:

In 2001 there were 7000 state faith schools in the UK (of 25000). The worst teach creationism (that the world is only 6000 years old, against all scientific evidence) and some, although they excel at religious education and Koranic studies, fail on everything else from science to fitness. Reports on the race riots of 2001 criticized faith schools for creating the segregation that increases racial and religious sectarian tensions. Over 800 studies by social psychologists have found that cooperating and extended contact between racial groups is a very good way of producing positive race relations. Faith schools sometimes produce better-than-average results, but they also select students based on ability (despite attempts to stop them), whereas state schools accept poorer students in the first place. The Home Office, National Union of Teachers, Chief Schools Inspector, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers have all spoken out against faith schools and the United Nations Human Rights Commission recommends non-sectarian education, especially of children. The National Secular Society has long campaigned for the government to reverse the creation of faith schools (100 new ones since 1997), and instead convert faith schools back into all-inclusive secular schools where religion and race do not define the children. Abolishing faith schools will decrease social tension between ethnic and religious groups, increase the fairness of the schools system (as religious schools accept fewer poor and disadvantaged students), and reduce the scope for religious extremism and indoctrination.