Faith schools are a force for tolerance

21st April 2006 at 01:00
The well-argued polemic on faith schools by (Year 13 student) Matthew Holehouse was a lot better than what some of our more experienced adversaries produce. I too, worry about taxpayer-funded religious schools and it is an argument which deserves serious attention. Shame, then, that he had not properly done his research.

We are undoubtedly the "excellent Church of England secondary school" to which he refers. According to Matthew, entry is dependent on a reference from a local vicar. No, Matthew, confirmation from a cleric that an applicant is not telling "porkies" may be required, but only when the school is over-subscribed - and this year St Aidan's was not over-subscribed.

I also note that young Matthew attends a school with "grammar" in its title. Comprehensives that retain this old title argue that it is "tradition". Pull the other one. They are usually over-subscribed; you have to live in a posh area to gain admission and I dare say research would show that they also take fewer poorer students.

I read something about not dealing with the speck of sawdust in your opponent's eye, when there is a huge plank in your own. Now where did I read that?

Dennis Richards Headteacher St Aidan's Church of England high school Harrogate, North Yorkshire

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