Faith and Schooling

A subject which is much contested, and which I wanted to think about before adding my contribution!
It is in response to a news report, concerning the news that more than 50% of the secondary schools in Wales break the law by failing to pray every day.
I didn't even though it was the law to pray at morning assembly, and I am sure it is a law which dates back some decades.
It's difficult, because this is an emotive subject, but, put basically I think everyone should have the choice. In other words, secular schools should not be pressurised to have morning worship if they don't want to, as to do otherwise would harm people's conscience. Those students who have a strong faith, should be given the time to do so, perhaps under the auspecies of a school chaplaincy etc..
Then you have the Church schools, and the muslim schools. In those circumstances I would be puzzled if they did not have worship in their respective school assemblies! Of course faith-based schools are a different kettle of fish altogether and some secularists are downright hostile towards them (I remember once having a mutually thoughtful, respectful, and considered debate over this (given that it is an emotive subject) with two fellow Constituency Labour Party Officers over afternoon coffee. I backed the ideal of faith-based schools, and they didn't). The argument is that children should have the choice, that would be denied at a faith-based school. But is putting one's child into a secular school giving them the choice, in that (for the sake of argument), this would be enforcing secularism on children and denying them the choice to actively pursue a particular faith (The very reverse argument I have heard against faith-based schools). Besides which, children are more canny than you would give them credit for.
To me it is a matter of simple choice for parents, and that is simply why I back secular AND faith-based schools. I doubt that these schools in Wales will be penalised, given that we are a Christian nation in almost name only, but people should have the choice.


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