No room in the state system for the Church

22nd June 2001 at 01:00
IT was refreshing to read Peter Inson's appraisal of the nature of the demand for church school places (TES, June 8).

His article contained no mention of the benefits of an education directed by Christian teachings or of an uplift in pupil attainment caused by a more spiritual atmosphere.

He is clear that church schools are attractive to parents because they are able effectively to select more supportive parents. This is clearly a nice position to be in for any school, but morally, it is indefensible to allow this right within state education, especially now that the level of regular church-goers among the population is so low.

Peter Inson refers to the Church being asked to "stretch further its material resources".

I see the situation as being quite the opposite. Voluntary-aided church schools are allowed to control admissions to their overal academic advantage in return for a very small contribution to the overall cost of running a school. In effect, they are heavily subsidised by taxpayers - the majority of whom are excluded from the benefits of such schools.

Sadly, in today's educational climate of increasing differentiation in school intake, children often receive an early lesson in hypocrisy as they observe their parents adopting the required religious posture just long enough to secure admission. They then see this religious fervour rapidly dissipate within days of the acceptance letter arriving.

I go further than Peter Inson, I do not believe that the Church performs any positive role in state education and I cannot find a justification for its presence which bears even modest scrutiny.

Paul de Kort

72 Station Road

Harpenden

Hertfordshire


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