Church School of the Future’ report a missed opportunity

March 23, 2012

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.’

2 Responses to Church School of the Future’ report a missed opportunity

  1. S Phillips on March 24, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    I have reviewed the ‘evidence’ you have provided for community cohesion problems and broadly found it mainly to be based on assertions and convictions. Much of your statistical evidence contradicts that provided elsewhere by other groups. The best arguments presented are about social class and faith schools, which has some merit, but it ignores some important issues- Catholic schools were responsible historically transforming the opportunities of the original underclass- Irish immigrants. Secondly because faith schools – Catholic in particular have admissions from a much wider geographical area than community schools – you are much less likely to have schools with singular ethnic/ class groups- a Catholic school will not solely serve a council estate or a plush housing area, it will rarely be wholly white British or a school of one ethnic mix serving a ghetto community. Is this not the ideal looked for in trying to serve a wider mix of backgrounds and in many respects far more significant for community cohesion in modern Britain than faith- alas faith in most people’s lives has less impact than their background. The convictions you hold on this website lead to very jaundiced and unobjective views. Say less about what you feel and think and more about what you can prove!

    • Paul on March 26, 2012 at 5:00 pm

      What is interesting is that you have made a number of statements about, primarily catholic schools, none of which you even attempted to prove or cite. Perhaps you should practice what you preach?

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