Church Schools Faith Schools. Should We Take The Risk – Are Parents Herd Animals?

BBC NEWS | Politics | Segregation warning over schools
Tony Blair’s flagship education reforms could increase racial segregation and
destabilise communities, the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) has warned.
Evidence suggests that – given unlimited choice – parents would band together
along racial lines, CRE policy chief Nick Johnson told MPs.
Such segregation was bad for society as it bred political and religious
extremism, he argued.
An education department spokesman said the reforms will reduce segregation.
‘High standards’
Mr Johnson spoke out as he gave evidence to the cross party Education and Skills
committee, which is investigating citizenship education in the UK.
He said the answer to segregation fears was to force schools to be more diverse
in their admissions.
      We have always been clear that our reforms will reduce segregation – there
      is nothing in our Education Bill that will increase it.
      Department for Education and Skills
The government says its education bill will promote diversity, choice and high
standards for all pupils.
But Mr Johnson told the MPs that people in the UK were increasingly leading
"parallel lives," both "residentially and socially".
"They don’t get a chance to interact with different people socially and if that
is happening in schools then that sets people up to be segregated for life," he
told the committee.
He said the problem was not so much the government’s backing for faith schools,
which often recruited from diverse socio-economic and ethnic groups, but its
promotion of Trust Schools.
      There is evidence that, to some degree, parental choice can increase
      Nick Johnson, director of policy and public sector, CRE
Such schools will be given more freedom over budgets and admissions and are a
key plank of the government’s education bill which last month completed its
stormy passage through parliament.
But Mr Johnson said the CRE was concerned Trust Schools could threaten community
cohesion, without proper safeguards in place.
"There is evidence that, to some degree, parental choice can increase
segregation because there is an instinct to be with people like yourself and
that parents tend to make that choice.
"So I think there is a concern about just allowing pure parental choice."
He said he "welcomed" proposals to force Trust Schools to promote "community
cohesion" but added every school should have a duty to make sure its intake was
The CRE was also concerned about the government’s flagship City academies and
specialist schools, which are allowed to select pupils by aptitude in certain
"There is emerging evidence from academies and we are about to look at that in
more detail where you have choice either for parents solely or choice by the
school that you can get more segregated or more homogeneous schools.
He welcomed "greater range of options" contained in the government’s education
bill, but said safeguards, such as twinning of schools and school federations,
must be in place.
Mr Johnson told the committee areas where the BNP did well at the ballot box
tended to be the most racially segregated.
"Our fear is that extremism is far more likely to develop in areas that are
segregated," he said.
‘Stronger’ identity
The reason for this, he argued, is that "it is far easier to spread myths and
misinformation and drum people up against each other if you are not encountering
other people, because you are more likely to believe those myths."
He acknowledged the CRE had become increasingly critical, under chairman Trevor
Phillips, of the brand of multiculturalism practised by some local authorities,
which emphasised "the differences between communities rather than what united
And he said this had prompted "a need to look at focusing on what can unite
people, and that’s starting in the classroom but through all walks of life".
He also told the committee there needed to be a "stronger" British identity.
But a spokesman for the Department for Education argued that no school was
allowed to admit students by reference to ethnicity, and to do so would breach
Race Discrimination legislation.
"Many faith schools are ethnically diverse. For example, Catholic schools are
more diverse than non-faith schools," he said.
"We have always been clear that our reforms will reduce segregation – there is
nothing in our Education Bill that will increase it.
"On the contrary we have placed a specific duty on Trusts to promote community
"In addition, fair play in admissions and a schools commissioner will ensure
that schools are accessible for people from all backgrounds and have an ethos
that promotes understanding of different cultures, races and religions."
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/06/07 16:10:38 GMT

About luckyme0

My First family, second marriage, bringing up my 18-year-old twins, boy, and girl. I am a third generation Humanist, who has some old handwritten information and notes; collected over many years. Someone may find the articles interesting, or helpful. They could bring back a little ‘reality’, after being ‘shocked’ and ‘brainwashed’, by some malicious group, or institution (REBT Therapy). People should know better, than to do this, to our very young, and the ‘obviously’ vulnerable! Go to easily accessible, non-superstitious knowledge that is not charlatanism! The blog has given me an incentive to order my thoughts, learn, and read up again, after a few non-thinking years of (very silly) imagination and passion. Why not, get your own key to a ‘door’, customise it to suit you, and it can be, all of your very own! Don’t believe, or be led by someone else’s; inherited, stupid, and a very likely (past, and not of today’s) ‘totally preposterous reality’s’. Only some interest in the ‘really big questions’, keeps life above the level of a farce, and very little else! KEEP THINKING! Some of the posts may need some correcting. Interests: REBT Counselling, Atheism, Secularism, Humanism, Psychology, Reading, Popular Science, School Ethos, Philosophy, History, Family, Parenting, Psychology, Horse Riding, Sailing, Rescue Boat Driver, Skiing (Teppichswinger), TV Documentaries, Motorbike Cross Country Riding, Volunteer Sports Stewarding, Writing, Primitive Man, Pre-history, Social Anthropology, British Humanist Association, BHA, Meaning of Life, The Big Questions, Where am I, What am I, Why am I, Hippie Love, Knowledge, Education, Globalisation. Favorite quote: “The world belongs to those who, at least to some degree, have figured it out.” Carl Sagan, ‘The Demon Haunted World’, ‘Contact’, and other famous books DVD ‘Cosmos’. The warning of another and horrendous, “Age of Superstition”. “Isn’t there something deeply absurd in the presumption that children ought to inherit beliefs from their parents. It can be deeply damaging, even lethally divisive. A ‘them’, with an ‘against us’, mentality” – Professor Richard Dawkins. “The will to believe is stronger than mere reason in the vast majority of people” – Dr J.Brown, Army Psychologist of the 1960′s. Humans will believe in almost anything, in fact, they seek it! Why? “98% of us, trained to be just good consumers, let’s train our children to be the 2% who have their very own creativity and discernment”; quote by a famous surreal artist. “The lack of reason brings forth monsters”. “Global interconnectedness is lethal against mass religion, nationalism, racism, and other destructive memeplexes. Let us connect everybody they hate it in restrictive regimes”; from the ‘meme learning group’, Richard Brodie’s book, ‘Virus Of The Mind’ (Richard Brodie a designer for ‘Microsoft Word’). Following on, J.Bronowski, and ‘The Ascent Of Man’ TV series, and a book with the last DVD in this series, ‘The Long Childhood’ being especially revealing. ‘Prehistory’ and the ‘Making of the Human Mind’ by Colin Renfrew, with P.Wilson’s, ‘The Domestication of the Human Species’, and Nigel Spivey’s, TV series and book, ‘How Art Made The World’, offers some further explanations. Latest reading: Jared Diamond
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