Archbishop's mickey-mouse ideas lauded

18th April 2003 at 01:00
DESPITE holding their conference at Easter, National Union of Teacher delegates rarely have anything good to say about the Church of England.

Past conferences have seen church schools attacked for fostering divisions between faiths. But this year promises to be different.

Delegates will get the chance to praise Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, not, as you may expect, for his anti-war views but for his outspoken remarks on the commercialisation of childhood. Dr Williams' book Lost Icons attacks the Walt Disney Company for selling toys through films and bemoans the loss of innocence in childhood. Disney responded that it tried to achieve "community, decency and optimism" in everything it did.

The Archbishop's views are mentioned in a motion put forward by Coventry and Birmingham branches which attacks the promotion of products in schools - particularly junk food. Recent examples include chocolate firm Cadbury offering schools sports equipment in return for wrappers.

A Birmingham NUT spokesman said: "We reject the idea that this is a Mickey Mouse motion. Companies get involved in these schemes to promote their own products. If they want to put money into schools why don't they do it through a blind trust?"

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