The Accord Coalition has expressed its regret at the failure of the Church of England’s ‘Church School of the Future’ report to set out a fresh and inclusive vision for its schools. The report, published today (March 23rd) , is the Church’s most prominent statement about its participation in state schooling for many years.
Chair of the Accord Coalition, Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain MBE said ‘The report is a missed opportunity to set out an open and inclusive vision for its own schools, and also to give a lead to schools of other denominations and religions. State-funded faith schools should seek to serve the wider community, not just their own particular constituency.
‘Instead the report is back to front; it focuses primarily on opportunities for the Church of England within the state education system, such as how the understanding of Christianity can be better promulgated, and how the Church can use recent developments in the state education landscape to expand upon its current involvement. The report should have focused on what Church Schools can do for whole of society, helping to provide education for its own sake.
‘Unfortunately the report glosses over completely the need to make all state funded schools truly welcoming and suitable to all children of every background, no matter what their parents’ or their own beliefs. The report also fails to address the issue of religious segregation in schools, and the very damaging effects of this upon wider society.’