What the faith school experts think ...

25th July 2008 at 01:00

Good Lord - words like "brainwashing" and "manipulation" couldn't be further from the truth. A good education encourages young people to think for themselves. Thirty per cent of people in Catholic schools are not Catholic, so they're recognising something about Catholic values and beliefs that they would choose. We present young people with information that the Catholic church believes to be fact. But it's up to them to travel on their own journey of belief. We're not indoctrinating them."

Oona Stannard, Chief executive of the Catholic Education Service

It would be utterly absurd to view CofE education as approximate to a totalitarian regime. Our schools actually provide education for a range of children from different faiths. We would expect all CofE schools to have a deeply religious character and to provide religious education that would equip pupils to be citizens of a multi-faith society. They are expected to provide circumstances in which pupils become religiously literate and can then make decisions for themselves."

Nick McKemey, National schools improvement officer, Church of England

The premise (Dr Law) is operating on is flawed in that he thinks education can be value-free. A school is always going to promote certain values, some of them based on parental choice. Different people want their children to be educated differently, and our education system should reflect those choices and the diversity of our society. People should respect parental choice in relation to their own children. If there isn't any parental choice and there's only one type of school, that's a totalitarian regime."

Tahir Alam, Education spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain.

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