Saturday, January 12, 2008

You Gotta Have Faith

The Times reports that middle class parents (ie the ones that care about their children's education) are pretending to be deeply religious in order to get their children into Faith schools, which on average are much better than non faith schools.

Several friends of mine have had their child baptised and become best pals with the local vicar or priest, even though they have no more belief in Religion than I do. As you might have come to expect, my view on all this is quite simple:

The kids may well get indoctrinated, but at least they'll be able to spell it.

Mind you, nobody is pulling the wool over the eyes of the Teaching Union, NUT. They have spotted that: 'Faith schools discriminate against pupils from non religious backgrounds.'


oldandrew said...

Interesting that the article is mainly about Catholic schools. Usually comments on faith schools claim that they are only better than other schools because of their white middle class intake.

Catholic schools, however, have on average a more socially disadvantaged intake than state schools generally. For them to be so popular they must be doing something right like holding children responsible for their own actions, for instance.

Another explanation (if I remember this correctly) is that Catholic baptism includes a rite of exorcism which, given the Satnic habits of many children, might be good for discipline. Your average state school, by contrast, would probably consider demonic possession to be a Special Need and blame the teacher for not taking account of spinning heads, levitation, telekinesis and the vomiting of pea-soup in their lesson planning.

Anonymous said...

Faith schools tend to be more traditional in their approach, but I'm not sure how this links with the religious aspect. The main point being missed here is that whatever they're doing works. All the other state schools need to do is follow their example, and use the same methods.

Anonymous said...

Can Faith Schools expel pupils who supposedly have the faith but don't meet their standards for behaviour?

Ours can, and so can expel problem students into the public system, which has no choice but to accept them.

Boy on a bike said...

Although my gran will be spinning in her grave, I agreed to have my firstborn indoctrinated into the Catholic faith, mainly with an eye on getting him into a Mick school later on. I even greased the palm of the priest at his baptism with lots of moolah in the hope that he will remember him fondly at that entrance interview in some years hence.

The only reason we were well behaved during high school is that our boarding housemaster used the largest, meanest 1st XV rugby players as his enforcers of discipline (he wasn't one for caning us much).

One bit of backchat to an elder student (heaven forbid a teacher!) and you'd find yourself being held upside down by a burly forward who'd be bumping your head on the concrete, saying "You (bump) will (bump) treat (bump) your (bump) edlers (bump) with (bump) respect (bump)."

Anyone still concious at the end had it done again.

Anonymous said...

I'm amazed they were able to get them baptised!!!!

My ex bridesmaid, went to the local village church to see about getting her first kid baptised & was told that they only baptised the children of people who attended services & were part of the church community!!!!

Pointing out that the family were in the first existing register, when it began in 1560 & they had been part of the community for far longer than most of the pious buggers who turned up for services cut no ice with the God botherer in charge. Who has alienated a whole generation of locals. But then that's the C of E for you!!!!


Anonymous said...

Oh, you can always rely on the sandal-bearers of the NUT to point out the glaringly obvious, can't you! Next they'll be jumping up and down at the fact that girls are "discriminated against" by not being allowed to enter boys' schools...

Anonymous said...

Look, the point here is that faith schools usually, not always but usually, do better because they can cherry pick the really good students, they have a strict interview (some even have a preparatory test) criteria, before the little darling can get in. Then if any of them misbehave too badly they can expel them.

The answer to all this is kick the liberal do gooders to the curb, bring back a fairer tripart system, reinstate corpral punishments, give teachers back their professional autonomy, scrap the national curriculum and league tables; then just maybe the little brats of this country might get an education that is suited to their needs.

The other thing to keep in mind is that not everbody needs to go to university. Unless you are thinking of becoming a doctor, lawyer, enginer, teacher or scientist you have no buisness being in higher education. The problem is that our ecconomy is geared around services, not everybody is capable of working in that kind of environment. Some people will only ever be able to work in factories, mills or down the pit and it's high time people realised this and stopped trying to make square pegs fit round holes.

Finally, with regard to the discipline in schools, we need to stop giving children so many rights and privileges. No child or young adult (until the age of 18) should be able to look their elders and betters in the eye and think of themselves as being equal. Children are not the equal of adults, they are the children and whether they like it or not they need to be made to do as they are told, and not (except for extreme cases say sexual abuse, or extremely violent and life threatening treatment) challenge and disobay the word of an adult.

That was the way it was 50 plus years ago and ask yourselves if children were as rude, disrespectful or aggressive as they are today back then. We need to bring back proper discipline and put our yong people back in their place. Also, realise that our one size fits all modern approach to education simply does not work. Maybe then the poor bloody teachers might actually be able to help them

Anonymous said...

The real reason for the superior religious school standards is that they cherry-pick their students, whereas non-religious schools have to take everyone in their catchment area. The very fact of this discrimination shows that religious scchools are unacceptable, and that there should be a solid wall of separation between church and state.
Can anyone say "justice"?

Anonymous said...

The annon above me, completely agree with you. Finally somebody put into words exactly how I've felt for a while. It is exactly that, square pegs and round holes. I'm a teacher in a real shithole school and I get kids challenging my authority everyday, when I try and make them sit quiet and listen, all I get is "Sir, fuck off...what you gonna do, give me lines, put me in detention, like I'm bovered."

Faith schools do do better because they can cherry pick the best candidates, we just have to take any old dross. I also agree that it is high time something akin to the tripart system was reintroduced, so that the brighter kids don't have to mix with the scum of the earth. Yes that is possibly elitist, but tough, life is not universal and equal and schools need to reflect that.

There are a number of very bright and sweet kids in my school and in my classes and it pains me to see them corrupted with the scrotbags that they have to study with everyday.

I also completely agree that the majority of the kids in my school will never be able to cope in the service style jobs that we have in this country, annon is right, some people will only ever be fit to work down a pit or in a factory. At least 50 or so years ago these youngsters could have got jobs that would have put a roof over their heads and food on the table. I'd like to see them manage that working in a call centre.

Well done annon, thank you for being so honest and I guess calling a spade a spade, just a shame there aren't people like you running the country. I also agree with the corpral punishment bit too. Children are not the equal of adults, nor should they be allowed to think of themselves as such.

Anonymous said...

Church schools by and large do not select or 'cherry pick' their students on the basis of ability. They, like all other schools have to publish their admissions criteria. As the particular denomination has to find 15% of the costs of upkeep of these schools it is only right that they should be able to admit pupils who attend the respective denominational primary schools in their catchment area. Many Catholic schools I know of, and the one I teach in, are in some of the most socially deprived areas in towns and cities. If the Church was not prepared to educate these children then the full cost of the upkeep of these schools would fall on the shoulders of the taxpayer. What is different about these schools is that they demand higher standards of discipline from their pupils and, I may say, do not, in many cases, get the necessary support from parents...just as in state schools. Perhaps some teachers in state schools see their job merely as that... a job rather than a vocation.

Anonymous said...

I daresay it's true that faith schools fare better, but their position at the top of league tables is not sufficient evidence by itself, because they tend to be smaller schools, so the *variance* in achievement will be higher - that's one of De Moivre's theorems iirc.

Other things being equal, small schools will tend to occupy the top *and* the bottom of league tables.

DorsetDipper said...

Interesting feature of this story was that the response to the fact that many people wanted to get into Faith schools was to push for less Faith schools ... surely there should be a push for more if that's what parents want?

Anonymous said...


The Contact Law service is free to use. We have access to a network of conveyancing solicitors throughout the UK available to assist you whether you are buying, selling or remortgaging a property. We search our database of approved solicitors to find the best value solicitor for the job. Many of our solicitors also provide HIPs and will be able to help you in relation to buying or selling larger properties.