In this essay I will be looking at two recent developments in the educational arena. The first area I will be examining is the increase in faith schools, I will be looking at differing opinions on the importance on faith schools. The second area I will be scrunitising is recent developments in providing criminal offenders with educational oppurtinities. One recent reform in education is the increase in the number of schools classed as ‘Faith Schools’; this term was first introduced in Britain in the early 1990’s, this was due to demands made by the Muslim community for institutions comparable to existing Christian schools. A faith school is a British school that teaches a general curriculum but with an emphasis on religious education, they may also have a formal link with a religious organisation, these schools are usually funded by the state and are within their rights to prioritise applications from people who follow the faith of the school, however, they must admit other applicants if they are unable to fill all available places, they are also required to ensure that their admission arrangements compy with the School Admissions Code. An analysis of 2010 English school data by The Guardian newspaper found that state faith schools were not admitting a fair share of the deprived pupils in their local areas, as indicated by free school meal entitlement, this analysis suggests that selection by religion in England is leading to selection of children from more well-off families. In 2002, Frank Dobson, in an effort to increase inclusivity and lessening social division, proposed an amendment to the Education Bill; this ammendment sought to limit the selection rights of faith schools by requiring them to offer at least a quarter of places to children whose parents followed another religion. Tthis proposal was defeated in Parliament, but, in late 2006, speaking on behalf of the Church of England, Bishop Kenneth Stevenson stated “I want to make a specific commitment that all new Church of England schools should have at least 25% of places available to children with no requirement that they be from practising Christian families”, however, this commitment applies to new schools only. David Bell, the head of the Office for Standards in Education caused controversy in 2005 by stating that he thought Islamic schools “a threat to national identity.” There are approximately 700 unregulated madrassas; Muslim schools or colleges, in Britain, attended by approximately 100,000 children of Muslim parents, these madrassas are not subject to scrutiny by the state. Doctor Ghayasuddin Siddiqui, leader of the Muslim Parliament of Great Britain, has called for these schools to be subject to government inspection, his demand followed a report in 2006 that highlightes widespread physical and sexual abuse. In January 2008, the Commons Children, Schools and Families Select Committee voiced concerns about the government's plan to expand faith schooling. Dr. Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, has said "Unless there are crucial changes in the way many faith schools run we fear divisions in society will be exacerbated. In our increasingly multi-faith and secular society it is hard to see why our taxes should be used to fund schools which discriminate against the majority of children and potential staff because they are not of the same faith" Catholic schools have consistenlty proven to provide a better quality of education than non religious schools, this can be seen in their examintation results, and the rates of acceptance of their students into college. Catholic schools instil discipline, they have less behavioural problems, and substance abuse at religious schools is lower than at other education facilities; it is for this reason that many non-Catholics choose to provide their children with an education at a Catholic school. Faith schools can provide a stable education for children, with Catholic schools...
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