Saving faith or saving the best for believers?

29th April 2011 at 01:00

Further to your editorial ("Taxpayer-funded piety for the few?", 22 April), although the perception of good exam results and high standards of discipline may have some bearing on the popularity of faith schools, these are not the main reasons.

Parents want their children to have a strong foundation in their own faith, with a greater depth of understanding of religious texts, a stronger sense of history and a more detailed awareness of ritual.

With regard to taxpayer funding, parents of pupils at such schools point out that they are also taxpayers and that faith communities have raised millions of pounds to buy the land and buildings comprising these schools.

Furthermore, "the remarkably cheap price of a 10 per cent contribution to building costs" is, in reality, a substantial financial burden that mainstream schools do not face. Indeed, our parents could argue that they are are subsidising the state education system. Surely it is not unreasonable for such schools to give priority to children of their own members when oversubscribed?

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

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