Article of faith

18th July 2008 at 01:00
Peter Wilby really must be desperate to fill his column if he has to rehash his familiar diatribe about faith schools (TES, July 11)
Peter Wilby really must be desperate to fill his column if he has to rehash his familiar diatribe about faith schools (TES, July 11). The argument has moved on, Peter: there is as much chance of faith schools disappearing off the radar as there is of Eton becoming a state comprehensive school.

A more useful starting point would be to ask searching questions of faith schools about what they are for. I am not all that happy myself about taxpayers - and secular ones at that - being asked to subsidise inculcation of particular faith stances. That is the job of the church, or the mosque, or the synagogue.

So, if we are to have faith schools - and we may as well "get real" and accept the inevitable - let's make sure they are for education only. Religious literacy is an essential basic skill these days, and that means an empathetic understanding of all faiths; and I include atheism in that.

Mr Wilby calls himself a "practising atheist". What does that mean? Perhaps he could use his next column to tell us.

Dennis Richards, Headteacher, St Aidan's CofE High School, Harrogate.

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