27 October 2006

Faith School Quotas 2006-2006

A faith schoolMany will be saddened to hear of the death of Faith School Quotas, killed whilst travelling in a government vehicle last night.

Born in the early part of 2006, throughout its short life Faith School Quotas cleaved to a simple creed of religious toleration and understanding, insisting that Faith Schools take up to 25% of their pupils from children of different religious backgrounds or no religious background at all. This creed was based on the, perhaps naive, idea that children whose parents belong to different faith groups should occasionally meet each other and perhaps learn something about each other beyond the fact that they are unbelievers who should be wiped from the face of the Earth by (a) the forces of righteousness, (b) the will of the appropriate God and (c) large amounts of explosives.

Tragically, Faith School Quotas died last night, after the government vehicle it was travelling in was involved in a major accident following the decision of its driver, Education Secretary Alan Johnson, to perform a sudden U-turn which resulted in him driving into a sea of religious intolerance. Police are currently interviewing Mr Johnson who it is believed may have been driving under the influence of the Labour leadership contest at the time of the accident.

The funeral will be held on Monday at St Dawkins Church of Unbelief and will be followed by a ceremony of remembrance in which the Archbishop of Canterbury, Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, the Chief Rabbi, several imams and a couple of Hare Krishna followers will dance upon the grave. Representatives of the Church of Scientology will be on hand to take a collection, then donate it to themselves.

Faith School Quotas are survived by ghettos, crusades, jihads and Old Firm football matches in Glasgow.


Will Pickering said...

The idea was absurd in the first place. Where were the 25% of non-faith children supposed to come from? What kind of parent wants to send their kid to a school that's based around a religion in which they don't believe? And, conversely, what would happen when the backlash started from parents who've been told "Sorry, Mr Greenberg/Rashid/O'Shaughnessy, but we won't have space for little Lepke/Omar/Brendan next term after all because we now have to reserve 25% of our places for infidels"?

It's one thing having voluntary agreements where the only Hindu family in a village sends its kids to the local Anglican primary rather than bussing them 20 miles each way to a private tutor; but where there's existing diversity of provision locally, enforcing quotas would be unpopular and stupid.

Paul said...

Maybe it's the cynic in me, but the whole thing looks like a stitch up.

Johnson wants all state funded schools to be open to all members of the comunity for "community use". Certain religious groups aren't exactly enthused at the prospect of having the local gay networking group/single mothers/divorcees (pick your own prejudice)sullying their hallowed ground.

Johnson has therefore offered them a "total victory" on a tokenistic and unworkable policy proposal in exchange for grudging acceptance of non-discriminatory use of schools facilities, allowing faith leaders to save face saying, "you can't win 'em all".

reuben said...

Is Mr Pickering serious, or being willfully disingenuous? If he wants to know where the non-faith children are going to come from, he isn't paying attention to urban education issues in this country. Here in scenic and convivial Southwark, London, the only decent schools in the poorer areas are the faith ones, so non-believers who either can't afford private school or want to support state schools are forced either to move elsewhere or fake conversion to CoE in order for their children to have access to decent schools.

As for what type of parents are going to send their kids to schools with religions they don't believe in, the simple answer is parents who want their children to get a decent education in their own neighbourhood, or even - and I know this sounds crazy - at the school closest to their own home. (If I had children, they would be barred on religious grounds from attending their local school. Is that fair?) Surely he has heard of parents attending church in order to get their kids into faith schools?