I find it infuriating that faith schools discriminate against children on the basis of religion. Religious discrimination would never be tolerated in the work place so I am not sure why it still exists in the school system.
Lets be clear - i am not talking about closing faith schools, I have no problem with my non christian children having a christian schooling, what I think is unfair is that my kids cannot get into their local school (200m or so away) because I don't attend church. They do not want to except my children, and if they do it is only as a last resort to fill numbers. Effectively my kids are second class citizens because of my religious beliefs. This becomes an even bigger problem when you consider some kids in haringey (my borough) dont even get school spots. so my kids could well lose out on a school spot, just because we do not go to church!
However, the complete hypocrisy of faith schools is that they have no problem taking my taxes to fund the school. They are not so picky when it comes to funding eh?!
So what happens to all the other kids who cant get in to local schools on distance because of the faith preferences? Well the lucky ones may go private, but that is a second choice in most cases. We are talking about £12-£15000 a year after all. Which when you pay your taxes is a little gutting. And lets not forget how national papers treat such people, for they will forever be judged for "being privately educated since the age of 5".
The unlucky ones may get shipped across the borough to the least popular schools, and if you believe stats and stories about success in early years having life long implications, they are hindered from the word go - because their parents were the wrong religion.
So, should I go to church to get my kids a good free education, even though I am hindu? Is that not a milder version of the crusades? Or a religious apartheid for education? I could of course set up a hindu school but a) that is not so easy, (b) I do not want my kids going to such a school and c) I work for a living. And lets be realistic - is that what this country needs - a bunch of brown kids hanging out with only other brown kids?
I would like to encourage the debate on whether such admissions policies are really fair so i have set up an epetition. We need a 100,000 signatures to get the government to consider opening this debate. While i think only the recent riots and Hillsborough has gained such interest, 100,000 is actually is not that much. So if you agree with me please sign the e-petition (below) and pass it on!
"Amend Faith schools admissions policy so that faith schools cannot discriminate against children of different faiths" has now been published. You can view your e-petition here