The plot to eradicate faith schools

Jul 31, 2015 by

by Quentin de la Bedoyere, Catholic Herald: Abortion, same-sex marriage, assisted suicide – the secular society encroaches every day. But I keep my focus on faith schools because this battle is not yet lost. While politicians for the most part support the existing arrangements, the campaign to eradicate religious schools from the public education system in Britain is so well managed and so vocal that we may soon discover that it has become a vote-winning issue. The National Secular Society, the British Humanist Association and the Accord Coalition (distinguished by its figurehead being a rabbi) are extremely active. Announcements and news stories are frequently well publicised, and there is no shortage of newspapers only too pleased to cry scandal. The term “faith schools” is easily extended to include all denominational schools, and then judged by the most extreme examples. The arguments are powerful. The major claim is the insistence...

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“Defactualization” Is Causing American Schools to Become Bastions of Anti-Intellectualism

Jul 15, 2015 by

By William Jeynes, Public Discourse: Truth has been relegated to a secondary position in the nation’s public schools, universities, political forums, and public squares. Years ago, there was a television show called Dragnet. In this popular drama, which largely reenacted real life events, Sergeant Joe Friday would often say, “Just the facts, ma’am, just the facts.” In today’s public schools, it appears that teachers often ask for the opposite: “Just your opinion, child, just your opinion.” In a public school system that emphasizes the subjective over the objective and opinion over fact, it is no wonder that so many American students lack basic knowledge and yet have opinions galore. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the nation’s chief test of student achievement, American students score lower in history than any other subject, and their test scores have been declining. On the history test for fourth graders,...

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Comrade Morgan frets about biphobic bullying. Get those kids to a re-education camp

Jul 13, 2015 by

By Laura Perrins, The Conservative Woman: What can you say about Nicky Morgan, politician extraordinaire? I do believe she has a third arm – two to hold her brief as “I never talk about education” Education Secretary, and one permanently to hold aloft her hand on which is her finger to test what way the political wind is blowing. The Minister has taken time out of her diary of not improving Britain’s schools, to speak at Stonewall’s annual Education Conference, “which aims to draw attention to the bullying and discrimination that LGBT young people still face in Britain’s schools today”. Because that issue never gets any air-time, does it folks? Or money. No hang on, “Morgan pledged the Government would dedicate a further £2 million towards tackling the issue.” I wonder how many teachers that would hire? Morgan has also promised, to review PSHE education, to ensure it plays “a real...

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Today in General Synod, York July 11th.

Jul 11, 2015 by

Patrick Sookhdeo of Barnabas Fund, and Guy Hordern the former Chair of the Birmingham Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE) addressed a fringe meeting today hosted by Anglican Mainstream. The subject was reasons for the Islamist radicalization of young people and the role of Religious Education in combating this.   Patrick Sookhdeo’s talk can be found in full in PDF form, available here: Radicalization and education   After the talks, there was a question and answer session. One important point which came across was the importance of Church of England schools in maintaining a clear Christian ethos as well as being welcoming to people of all faiths and none. Pressure is being applied from secularists, but also liberal Christians, for all schools to teach Christianity only from a phenomenological perspective, ie learning about rites of passage, festivals etc but never opening a Bible or hearing about how people come to...

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RE teachers living in fear over offending pupils and parents

Jun 29, 2015 by

From Cambridge News: Teachers are living in fear they will offend pupils and provoke parents as they bluff their way teaching religious studies in primary schools. Sue Ward, the religious education adviser for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, said she is contacted every day by primary teachers asking for help with the subject. The principal examiner for religious studies, philosophy and ethics at Cambridge-based exam board OCR said they do not get enough training for the complexity of the subject, with many teachers telling her they did not receive any RE training on their course. The Standing Advisory Council for RE in Cambridgeshire (SACRE) has followed Ofsted’s recommendations to develop enquiry-based learning in RE, she added, which centres on getting pupils to build knowledge and understanding by asking questions. Writing in a blog for the Church Schools of Cambridge, she said: “This has resulted in fears being expressed by teachers that they...

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Faith schools must be forced to teach about homosexuality – Andy Burnham

Jun 25, 2015 by

By John Bingham, Telegraph: Faith schools must be forced to teach about gay and lesbian relationships on a par with heterosexual couples, the Labour leadership front-runner Andy Burnham has insisted. The Shadow Health Secretary said those who argue that requiring all schools to teach about same-sex unions would be a threat to religious freedom were “straightforwardly wrong”. In an interview with PinkNews, the LGBT website, he added that the growth of academies and free schools was allowing individual schools to act as “judge and jury” to decide what they want to teach on such issues. Mr Burnham, who is from a Roman Catholic background, disclosed that he had gone through deep rifts with members of his own family after he become one of the first prominent MPs to publicly support same-sex marriage. “I have been repeatedly at odds with the Catholic church for all of my time as an...

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