Should British Faith Schools Abandon Faith?

The United Kingdom provides financial support for schools which are founded on religious ideas and mainly cater to children of the school’s faith. A two year study by the Runnymede Trust concludes that faith school admission procedures are too selective and they wind up only education a limited number of children from poverty backgrounds. Although many faith schools insist their mission is to challenge poverty and inequality, “currently the intake of faith schools is wealthier and higher achieving on entry to secondary school than average.” The Trust raises the issue of whether a faith based school which theoretically seeks to end poverty and inequality can survive as a refuge for the wealthy and better educated sections of society.

The report suggests religious education should become part of public school curriculum and entrance into faith schools should be broader even if it requires establishing quotas to ensure children of diverse background are able to enter. Perhaps, issues of faith are best dealt with by parents and after school programs.