Defenders of the faith schools

13th April 2007 at 01:00
Christine Chalstrey. Wootton-by-Woodstock CofE primary school, Oxfordshire

Faith schools are popular because they state clearly the basis upon which their values are drawn and offer the opportunity for expressions of faith (TES, April 6). It is important that such schools are embraced in the state sector, where RE will follow locally agreed syllabuses drawn up with reference to government guidelines and devised in full consultation with faith communities, including humanists.

What better way of ensuring that diversity is respected while also treating religious affiliation with the seriousness it deserves and hopefully providing an environment that will counteract extremism in any form?

I have taught in a range of schools and the most doctrinaire was a large secondary school that espoused liberal humanist values, which effectively meant that religious expression was off limits and RE undervalued and squeezed in the curriculum.

We need pupils who are well-educated in matters of religion, so that they can make informed personal choices and understand more fully the world in which they are living.

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