21st February 1997 at 00:00

My son is taking up a post in a private school in Cyprus and is considering taking a corres-pondence course in Teaching English as a Foreign Language. How can he be sure of a particular course's acceptability?


I cannot help you with courses which are offered by organisations based abroad, but, in the UK one should be able to rely on those provided by the Royal Society of Arts or validated by Trinity College of Music in London.


If a school advertises an RE post and includes the words "practising Christian preferred", or gives some other indication that it is seeking a Christian, is this a form of discrimination?


Your letterhead reveals that you work in an independent school. I must tell you, therefore, that if an independent school specifies as part of its objectives that it provides a Christian education, it is perfectly entitled to express a preference for Christian teachers in any subject area. The same applies to voluntary and controlled schools which have a specific Christian commitment. These may also specify which communion they favour.

Such an advertisement would not be allowed for LEA schools and for grant-maintained schools that have no commitment to a religious education.

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