Faith comes first, lessons second

23rd March 2001 at 00:00
The Bishop of Blackburn says scientist Richard Dawkins' opposition to the expansion of "sectarian" education is based on the Northern Ireland experience and is irrelevant to England and Wales ("Faith overcomes flimsy doubts", TES, March 2).

The reason for the lack of sectarian tension in England and Wales, though not Scotland, stems from the marked decline in support for the mainstream denominations, particularly the bishop's own.

Had the decline in support for the churches not taken place I seriously doubt whether Alan Chesters would be exhibiting himself and his sect's schools as models of ecumenical propriety.

Perhap more significant in the bishop's letter is the inevitable moan about lack of finance. This, in short, indicates that not only does his denomination want to extend its influence in education, but wants the largely indifferent populace to foot the bulk, if not all, of the bill.

However, the good bishop rather lets the cat out of the bag in the final part of his letter, when he acknowledges that "schools stand at the centre of (his) church's mission". In other words, they are there first and foremost to promote belief with genuine education coming a poor second.

Robert Morrell

43 Eugene Gardens

Nottingham


Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now