Faith school hope

22nd August 2008 at 01:00

I have read with interest the Economic and Social Research Council's study, Identities in Transition ("Diversity builds esteem", TES, August 1) which finds that primary aged immigrant children develop higher self- esteem in more ethnically diverse schools. However, I do not understand how this leads the authors to conclude that "these findings also speak against policies promoting single-faith schools, since such policies are likely to have the effect of reducing ethnic diversity in schools."

In fact, many faith schools are multi-racial and draw pupils from a wide catchment area and a broad socio-economic range, whereas many mainstream local community schools are, due to the segregated nature of their catchment areas, predominantly single race and far less `diverse'.

It would be interesting to know how many (if any) of the 20 schools in the ESRC study are faith schools and how typical they are of faith schools in general.

Alan Shaw, Headteacher, Moriah Jewish Day School, Pinner, Middlessex.

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