Faith Schools And Community Schools, Community Schools, Faith Schools discussed on National Secular Society Podcast


At almost every turn off education say, oh they don't know which Academy trusts have a religious ethos all we ask them which Academy trusts are mix that's Continuum a mix of Faith or non-faith schools and they get back to us with with inconsistent or strange information. So with this report we decided to sit down and to just try and work out based on model fund the agreement wage and the information that was available at schools which schools which have become academies or new economies are in which trusts and which of those are religious or not talking of these birth. Now your Port looked at a range of schools, which had been absorbed into these. Multi Academy trusts just quickly. What is the significance of this structure? Well, it can be very confusing for parents in England that there are quite a range of different types of schools. So traditionally we had three main types in England which were voluntary controlled voluntary wage those with different types of Faith schools and Community Schools, which were non Faith schools. We also had you know things like Foundation schools and some other small strange strange models walk through a kind of motivation what happens is with the school is known and controlled by the local Authority, but it's a controlled by an independent organization called a trust and they can be modeled along the same lines to volunteer control of one credit score or could be a faith school or could that be a community for us in that they have no specific religious designation. What was it key findings of your report? We found that more than 2,600 non Faith Academy's as a camera that shouldn't have a fee for so designation. And that's actually almost half of the academies of non-faith enemies in multi-country trusts. We're actually in trust that had some for more likely have some form of religious governance. This is several thousand schools, which you would think would be just run along totally secular lines and would have no special religious input. In fact potentially having policies dictated by religious appointees. We also found that out 265 form of community schools had since it kind of ization acquired a fee for so designation in other words schools, which were previously thousand denominational at all had become more religious. Does that mean overall that more schools are now have some religious influence than used to? Yes, but it's no longer enough just to see where wage The school itself has a faith basis. You also need to look at the trust and within which it operates so you could have a school which describes itself and operates on a day-to-day basis as a non faithful Community fought so but still has some policies which are decided by religious twenties. Let's look at those appointees and let's look at the different ways in which religious groups and individuals can influence these skills. So first of all, there's the governors of the school and the trustees how might there be influenced by religious organizations on a day-to-day basis the governance of a structure of school can seem somewhat disconnected from what happens in the school on any given day but these things do influence policy over a longer period of time when the case has the report we looked at one that was a non-faith of community here for school, which is part of a faith-based marked Academy trust and since it became part of that trust policy dictated that the collective worship requirement was dead. Course much more stringently. When you have people in the people in the room making the decision and those who decisions that can be very quite routine or could be profound and really go to the heart of the ethos School in Ann on faith in a community for school. You'd expect those people to be a point in either democratically or meritoriously, you wouldn't expect them. You shouldn't expect them to be promoted based on their faith eephus. And and what you're saying is that now a lot more of these Governors and trustees are being appointed because of their religious affiliations. Yes potential though is as we as we send the play is very difficult to find that too just to find this that these things out to find out how many people are appointed by particularly diocese and Boards of Education wage. Well, let's talk now about the designation National ethos of the school overall. Would you say that that schools have become more religious in other ways as well since they became academies not just in terms. Yep. Government structure, but in other ways on a day-to-day level you mentioned Collective worship or examples as well. So it's kind of a Hallmark of schools don't have religious education Community for Saturday are much more likely to interpret the collective worship requirement more broadly and to almost interpret it out of existence of schools to be more like wage hold simply inclusive assemblies that provide an opportunity for worship, but don't dictate it when you have trust wide policies promoting Collective worship that can affect all schools in the trust non-faith Community for schools are expected to teach locally determined religious education. But if you have a trust level deciding what what text books again I bought what professional career development opportunities are going to be for teachers that can also influence then how it's delivered. Even if it is technically still non-denominational dead. There's also the issue of voluntary controlled face course, I don't really want to get deeply into terminology and differences. But many people have an experience and thoughts about voluntary controlled Faith schools with a Church of England schools typically as being much more like touch maybe, you know, sort of a halfway house between some of them more stricter Faith schools and Community Schools, however through a categorization we're seeing that difference between voluntary controlled and voluntary aided Faith schools diminish and once a month a safe score a bunch of controlled face school, which previously may have had a degree of independence from the diocese once it's forced into and has no choice about what trust it goes into its forced into a multi can be trust backed by the diocese. That's a much tighter level of control over it and therefore that's one of the many ways in which particular Church England who controls what is v c face scores are dead. Need to increase the rigor of the religious ethos in new V Alistair what needs to be done to counter? What what seems to be a Resurgence in religious influence in schools report makes a number of recommendations for both national and local policymakers and we will be writing both the department for education and Regional School Commissioners off automatically. If we want to protect communities was education then we need to start taking it. Seriously. There are whole mechanisms in place to protect Faith schools ethos, but there's but the DFE have shown time and time again that they simply don't value or take seriously enough the protection of Community School resources. It's unsurprising because the faith School Lobby is very well organized and there's there's not a comparable pay for protecting non faithful Community for schools. What can members do if they feel strongly about this if we it would be great if supporters in England could share the report with them with their dog Pace we've got the facility on our website and we'll Link in the show notes to be to start with the template letter if you're affected by any of the issues in this report. So for example, if you work in or off Governor or parent who attends a non-faith school that is being forced into a faith-based Marta can be trust or you have religious governance in your accademy, trust back biting or containing any faith schools or even if you are involved in a safe school which values its independence and and doesn't want to be promoting a very strict religious ethos, you feel you're being forced into that for a kind of adulation then definitely get in touch and be happy to support you. I'd also as I said as I'm I always say is if you said if you're interested in this report and you support the work of the NSS, then please do join or donate reports that this and original research and the time that goes into providing casework support. For the people affected is.

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