Dear Ms Morgan: how do faith schools tackle the problem of ‘separate lives’?

Writing his latest open letter to Nicky Morgan, Michael Rosen asks if the idea of faith schools is at odds with David Cameron’s apparent belief that we need to stop different cultures living separate lives. This is an extract from the Guardian

…In 2011, the prime minister said: “Under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and apart from the mainstream. We’ve failed to provide a vision of society to which they feel they want to belong.”

…Cameron’s speech came early on in this government. Subsequently, we’ve been offered free schools. People like me have opposed these on the grounds that they get in the way of providing the same educational opportunities to all children and can lead to the absurd situation I heard played out on Radio 4’s Today programme in which a local authority is accused of not intervening in so-called problem schools over which it has no control – as has happened in Tower Hamlets recently. How handy for you that it wasn’t you being grilled by the interviewer. And yet, in your government’s rush to create schools controlled by your office, it’s your office that encourages “state multiculturalism”, which according to Cameron leads to us having “separate lives”, and can result in “Islamist extremism” and “terrorism”.

I nipped over to the “Find a free school near you” page at the New Schools Network site and found more than 30 schools which appear to provide a culturally specific faith ethos, whether that’s dubbed Islamic, Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, Hindu, Christian, Church of England or Catholic.

I fully concede that this is a guess – and people will correct me if I’m wrong – but I doubt if there are many Muslims in the Jewish schools on this list, nor let’s say, many Catholics in the Hindu schools, or Jews in the Hindu schools … and so on. Doesn’t that encourage people to lead “separate lives”? When people set up free schools with a faith name on the board outside, don’t they tend to give off a signal about who’s welcome to come inside? Why else set them up?…

More at: Dear Ms Morgan: how do faith schools tackle the problem of ‘separate lives’?

 

Fair point from @MichaelRosenYes? Are faith schools that have been encouraged by the free school movement at risk of creating exactly the kinds of “separate lives” David Cameron warned of? Please let us know what you think in the comments or via Twitter…

 

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Comments

  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove MichaelRosenYes highlights the contradictory nature of British politics; they’ll say anything for a vote

  2. IfBChristine

    SchoolsImprove zeno001 total agree Free Schools route enables those establishing them to educate those like them, its abt more than faith

  3. IfBChristine

    SchoolsImprove zeno001 total agree Free Schools route enables those establishing them to educate those like them, its abt more than faith

  4. IfBChristine

    SchoolsImprove zeno001 total agree Free Schools route enables those establishing them to educate those like them, its abt more than faith

  5. Johnthe14th

    SchoolsImprove NickyMorgan01 Rosen’s mission in life is to see that faith schools are closed down and Christianity is eradicated.

  6. Johnthe14th

    SchoolsImprove NickyMorgan01 I take it Rosen has some historical research evidence 2 verify his claim of “separate lives.” I want 2 see it

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