Faith schools

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Faith schools are educational institutions that are affiliated with a particular religion. They are often funded largely by the government but some schools receive a contribution from church or denominational funds. Unsurprisingly, there is a much higher emphasis on religion within the curriculum. Schools may accept children from a single religion exclusively or allow pupils of other beliefs. Many countries prohibit faith schools from receiving funding from the government because of the separation of church and state.



Faith schools indoctrinate children with religious dogma which is harmful for their development and contrary to the purpose of education.

"Only imagine if the educational institutions were "Conservative party primary schools" or "Labour party universities" for propagating the outlook and beliefs of each in the young. And what do we think about those madrasas that teach hate and jihad - not just in Pakistan, but here in our midst? If such are not acceptable, why is C of E or RC inculcation of religious superstition in three-year-olds - or 18-year-olds - any more acceptable?"

A. C. Grayling [1]
"It has long been known that a religious ethos is no magic formula when it comes to academic excellence. The perception of superiority comes from faith schools' unique ability to select on the basis of faith, which can also act as a form of socio-economic selection – and largely explains their apparent academic success. Instead of dividing young people by faith, and sometimes ethnicity, education policy should seek to strengthen social cohesion by creating more places in inclusive schools where young people of all religion and belief backgrounds can be educated together.[2]"

Schools may also pressure teachers to be uncritical of their religion or its values.

"Schools with a designated Church of England character are able to ask for Christian commitment as one of the criteria used in making staff appointments, so that the Christian character of the school may be effectively maintained. [3]"

Faith schools may also have biased entrance requirements in order to increase their apparent performance. [4] There is no evidence that faith schools actually improve academic performance.[5]

Some schools promote an extremist interpretation of their religion to students, even in Western democracies [6].

Some faith schools also omit or suppress topics that they find objectionable, such as evolution, sex education and human reproduction. However, this is detrimental to the student's understanding of the world. [7] Disputes over education have sometimes ended in court, such as the Scopes Monkey Trial and Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District.

Faith schools sometimes advertise for and retain staff in a discriminatory fashion, which is often illegal.[8]

Faith schools have been known to avoid or ostracize pupils, if the pupil's parent is transgender.[9]

In countries in which corporal punishment is illegal, some fundamentalist faith schools illegally use it as a disciplinary method.[10]

Studies have found a "negative correlation" between time spent studying religion and achievement in maths and science.[11]

Sex education is mandatory for children in the United Kingdom but has an exemption based on religious belief so that they "will continue to be able to teach in accordance with the tenets of their faith". [12]


  1. Onward Christian teachers?
  2. [1]
  3. [2]
  4. [3]
  5. [4]
  6. Schools face new curbs on extremism after Birmingham Trojan horse affair
  7. [5]
  8. [6]
  9. [
  10. [7]
  11. [8]
  12. [9]

See also

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