Joined: Dec. 2005
"What in principal is wrong with schools setting admission standards? Why have we just about abandoned the grammer school?"
It take it that you didn't go to a Grammar school then Steve???
-- actually Larry got me looking for stuff on this.
Faith schools aren't funded by the church any more Steve - the reason we have them is that when education was nationalised here, charitable faith schools were brought into the system.
Faith schools often perform 'well' in the sense that they have better performing students - but then they have informal forms of selection which pick out more kids wiith more supportive parents. Children in care don't get a look in for example. Emmanuel College in Gateshead - which is one of Blairs 'City Acadamies' takes an unusually low number of children with 'special learning needs' - and then doesn't look after them well - go check their Ofsted report. These 'Acadamies' also get extra state funding that other schools don't get - the Audit Commision doesn't think they offer value for money even when they perform 'well'.
Blair takes a simplistic view of this and wants to expand the number of state supported faith schools. This will mean dividing kids by religion at a young age - putting schools in the hands of all sorts of faith groups and private individuals and 'charities' - and leaving the 'leftovers' and the children that need the most help to be taught in underfunded 'bog standard' schools.
I think he's going to come a cropper with this one.
The best resources I have found are on the British Humanist Society site here:
Lord May - the retiring Chair of the Royal Society has had something to say on the matter:
... anyone else think that this subject deserves a thread of it's own?