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Eddie Mair | 06:06 UK time, Friday, 23 February 2007

It's serious in here.

Comments

  1. At 08:10 AM on 23 Feb 2007, gordon myers wrote:

    You're in early this morning. Didn't think that amount of rehersal time was necessary.
    Remember it's Friday so, get rid of the furrowed brow; keep your sunny side up; don't let the so-and-so's get you (sorry, got a bit carried away there) - instead of he delights of PM you could be in charge of "Quote Unquote"

  2. At 08:19 AM on 23 Feb 2007, gossipmistress wrote:

    Not so serious this week then?

  3. At 09:05 AM on 23 Feb 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    Seriously - what happened to Lord Mair yesterday?? All v quiet...

  4. At 09:12 AM on 23 Feb 2007, Belinda wrote:

    Bias at the BBC? Thoughts?

    (I'm being brief).

  5. At 09:45 AM on 23 Feb 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Eddie once said on marriages :

    I try not to post for the sake of it. Hence the silence yesterday. Maybe I'll say something today.

  6. At 10:05 AM on 23 Feb 2007, Little Miss Poppy wrote:

    Eddie - realise what you've been given and polish it every day.

  7. At 10:28 AM on 23 Feb 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Re: Little Miss Poppy,

    I beg your pardon!

  8. At 10:37 AM on 23 Feb 2007, RJD wrote:

    Can't get much more serious than this.

    One of the guys at work has four tickets to see Ireland humiliate England in Dublin tomorrow. Now, the question is:

    "To get a ticket, is it any less unethical to bribe him than to threaten him with dismissal?"

  9. At 11:09 AM on 23 Feb 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    RJD -
    I'd go for the bribe - less cahnce of being sued!

  10. At 11:19 AM on 23 Feb 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Okay, RJD, back to the naughty step!

  11. At 11:42 AM on 23 Feb 2007, RJD wrote:

    Big Sis (9)

    Why? Nothing naughty in what I've said. It's an honest point for discussion!

  12. At 12:03 PM on 23 Feb 2007, Valery P wrote:

    RJD - you could try just asking him nicely?

  13. At 12:17 PM on 23 Feb 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    RJD:

    Nothing wrong with 'bribe' or 'threaten'?

    Our moralities differ, I fear.

  14. At 12:34 PM on 23 Feb 2007, Fiona wrote:

    RJD, how about bribing him the prospect of retaining his job??? (you have to consider things from all angles!!). At the end of the day all is fair in love and sport (or something like that!!!)

  15. At 12:58 PM on 23 Feb 2007, RJD wrote:

    Fiona - That is brilliant - I like your thinking! I'll go talk to him.

  16. At 02:27 PM on 23 Feb 2007, Annasee wrote:

    RJD I was going to say- go for the threat, it's cheaper, but Fiona has found a lovely, economical compromise worthy of New Labour itself.
    Good luck. (Of course, if Ireland lose, will you be so happy to be there?)

  17. At 02:57 PM on 23 Feb 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    OK. If you've all got nothing more serious to think about, consider this:

    1. The law on corporate manslaughter -- does it need further alteration or is it about right now?

    or, slightly less depressing:

    2. Charitable status for public schools -- appropriate or to be removed?

    Or you can carry on with rugby talk (I'm guessing that's what you're all on about, is it?)

  18. At 03:19 PM on 23 Feb 2007, Fiona wrote:

    Oh dear, does this mean I am officially evil??!! Bearing in mind how quickly and without remorse I was able to make such a suggestion!
    Oh well, enjoy the game if you make it RJD.

  19. At 04:20 PM on 23 Feb 2007, RJD wrote:

    Sadly all in vain for the match ticket. The original question was never serious anyway as you know.

    He DOES have 4 tickets but he is in a group of 7 regular match goers and they are going to have to figure out whose turn it is. I think 3 are already decided, with the last ticket being drawn for by the other 4. The work colleague is one of the lucky three.

    Ap – OK you have shamed me into being serious.

    Charitable Status for schools - a total anachronism. If anybody wants to set up or attend a private school why should they expect to have that subsidised by seeking or maintaining charitable status. They either join in the state/national system or opt out totally and bear ALL the costs themselves.

    As it happens, I was involved in the set up of one of the New Integrated Colleges in N.Ireland. We were advised to apply for charitable status at the time and did. We achieved it but never used it to any advantage. The College is now vested and totally funded by the Department of Education but we were forced to follow the original line because that was the only way that the College could be established.

    Beyond the charitable status question the funding formulae for schools here has been a disgrace for decades, with the financial bias very much in favour of the Grammar Schools – Yes, we still have them. They are excellent schools, producing excellent results but at a financial and consequent educational cost to other sectors. There are recent attempts to tackle this disparity but the eloquent and influential voice of the advantaged seems to be the one that is holding sway.

  20. At 07:33 PM on 23 Feb 2007, Bill'n'Ben wrote:

    Appy,

    Yes the law on corporate manslaughter needs a bloody good shake up.

    Then Tony Blair and Des Brown can be brought to book over the illegitimate deaths of our ill equipped troops in their illegal war in Iraq.

  21. At 08:51 PM on 23 Feb 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Good to hear from you Brian!

    Hear Hear! to your comment.
    Have a black one on me.
    Slainte
    ed

  22. At 01:38 AM on 24 Feb 2007, susie sue wrote:

    If you haven't heard this already...

    It costs just a couple of quid to download a version of Edwin Starr's 70s classic "War! What is it Good For" if you go to:

    www.uglyrumours.com/

    I reckon this spoof is worth going for. This was the second single I ever bought, even if it's been mucked around a bit for the sake of a rather more contemporary message...Now that downloads supposedly count in the chart compilations there's a chance of a big statement. Especially after tonight's news about US Star Wars bases in the UK.

  23. At 12:25 PM on 25 Feb 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    RJD (18), You make perfect sense and I agree with your view of charitable status. But this doesn't make for much of a debate does it?

    Bill'n'Ben'n'Brian (19), Hello! How exactly would you shake up the law?

  24. At 01:08 PM on 25 Feb 2007, RJD wrote:

    Appy(22)

    Sorry, I went off on a bit of personal rant re own experience.

    I think the question on charitable status for private schools is pretty simple really. Should everybody else indirectly subsidise those who want to send their children to private schools?

    For me the answer is equally obvious - No!

  25. At 03:06 PM on 25 Feb 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    RJD, read your 23 then reread my 22. Feel the need to explain that "But this doesn't make for much of a debate does it?" was intended as a dig at myself for being dull, not at you for any of your very eloquently expressed thoughts. :-)

  26. At 10:41 PM on 25 Feb 2007, Valery P wrote:

    What thoughts do you have on the fact that those paying private school fees are also still paying their council taxes etc towards state school costs, there is no total opt-out is there?

  27. At 11:22 PM on 25 Feb 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Valery (25), You are right -- but I would venture that opting out of any across the board taxation is unfeasible as it would lead to all kinds of problems. In this case, what about those who don't have any children, for example?

  28. At 01:10 PM on 26 Feb 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    RJD;
    But my taxes subsidise state schools, which my family do not use and which I equally resent paying for, especially since the vastly increased quantities of cash ladled out by the Treasury since 1997 can be demonstrated to have been wasted on a decline in exam results, if one filters the figures a little (to include maths and english results in the 5 GCSE passes at 'C' grade or higher). Ergo, my taxes are being wasted somewhere. And no-one is satisfactorily explaining how or why. Ditto the NHS. And PFI schemes. And 'Government advisors'. And 'Consultancy Companies' advising the government how to run a country.

    Can you explain for me how a private school having charitable status means it gets subsidies from "everybody else"? I'm confused.

    And in any case every school in the nation is subsidised from the point of view that their income & expenditure is paid for from the pockets of the tax-paying public. Val P. has a point here.

    Appy hits this one head-on. There are many out there who are either childless or whose children are past education age. These people still pay for state education for other people's children whether they want to or not.

    I'm one of the people that Val speaks of. My girls go to a small private school, at my expense. Yet I continue to pay my council tax, income tax and national insurance to fund publicly provided activities for others.

    Libraries I don't go into, museums I find tedious, art galleries displaying modern 'art' I don't understand the point of, traffic police I loathe, massively increased, and unwarranted, salaries and expenses packages for councillors, rehab programmes, battered wives shelters. What interest do I have in these? Why should my money be used to pay for them?

    Frankly I like the idea of direct democracy, where one can tick a box on one's tax return to indicate how the government is to spend my generous donation to their cause. The only trouble with that is that there would be no Armed Forces, no drug rehab programmes, no shelters for battered women, etc.

    Services provided by a local authority would exist at the whim of their own local voters and service provision would become a genuine postcode lottery. Parishioners in one village might have refuse collection, the people in the next might not, because they voted not to spend their taxes in that way.

    Unemployment would be a death sentence, with no Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, etc. No money for the shirkers or the sick!! Who cares if they eat or not?

    No special rights for the disabled, no wheelchair ramps on pavements or into shops. Why, in fact, should anyone get special rights at all?? Why shouldn't everybody be entitled to specially privileged treatment? I want a ramp into my home, so that I don't have to climb the stairs. I'm being discriminated against!!

    On second thoughts I prefer it the way it is. It may well be imperfect and I may resent some aspects of the public services. It might be costs or even the necessity of providing them at all. (What is a 'Five-a-Day Co-ordinator' any way?) (And why do the young need 'Youth Drugs Co-ordinators'. They are perfectly capable of co-ordinating their own drugs).

    And anyone who started jumping up and down about the strongly worded ideas above, calm down. It was all rhetorical. I wasn't serious for a moment. But if it helps to provoke some debate I'd be glad.....

    Si.

  29. At 01:17 PM on 26 Feb 2007, Sara wrote:

    RJD - full marks for the excellent amd accurate strapline today!

    I hope you won't mind if I pick up on just one thing you wrote about schools (18): about grammar schools you say "Yes, we still have them. They are excellent schools, producing excellent results but at a financial and consequent educational cost to other sectors. "

    It's the last bit I take issue with. Here in Shropshire we still have grammar schools but also excellent comprehensive schools too. One young lad I know started at the boys' grammar school but for various reasons didn't settle, so transferred to the comprehensive in the same town where he was much happier. As that school does not have a sixth form all the children who want to go on with their education transfer at 16, either to the grammar schools in town or to a sixth form college, which is what he did. He then went on to the county university where he got a first and is now taking a PhD at King's, London. From what I have seen the secondary schools all work together very happily to do their best for the children and whilst I'm sure all of them could do with more money, none appears to suffer at the expense of any others.

    Maybe mixed education of this kind works better in rural and semi-rural areas than in urban connurbations - if so, I expect that has more to do with social and housing situations and catchment areas.

  30. At 02:09 PM on 26 Feb 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    Sara (28);
    I attended the Grove in Market Drayton. At the time (1976 - 80) it was the largest comp in Shropshire by pupil numbers.

    The education I got was pretty poor and there was no alternative available. Non-coincidentally it was only a year or so after we moved down South that M.D. was revealed as the town with the worst underage drinking rate in England. It was one of the first to introduce a mandatory i.d. card system to the pubs in town.

    We think that teenage pregnancy rates are shocking now, but at the time my year left school three girls out of forty or so in the top stream were expecting.

    There was nothing to do there. No options for disaffected youth. The highlight of the year was the week that the open-air swimming pool opened for the summer. At least you had somewhere to go then.

    Your friend was one of the few lucky ones. He made it out.

    Si.

  31. At 02:55 PM on 26 Feb 2007, Sara wrote:

    Goodness me, Si - I had no idea MD was such a dump. We've only been up in that direction (near Newport actually) for about nine years, by which time all my children were out of secondary education and only my youngest was still at Uni.

    But they were all educated in South Bucks from the age of about 8 or 9, after we came back from Europe. South Bucks has grammar schools too. In Beaconsfield there was a girls' grammar and a secondary school and the latter was as good as the former, from what I could tell. My two girls have done OK but I think that's down to their brainpower as much as to the school! My son was at a grammar school too and that did appear to be a good one.

    I must say that we fell out with the girls' school quite often as they did not seem to know what my girls were capable of at all. In fact they suggested that the youngest was rather dim, whereas she easily got to uni (via clearing) to read Maths and is now a CA (all exams passed first time), so I don't think she can have been as dim as they thought!

    But Si - you only get one go at educating each of your kids and you don't always have the choice of where you live.

    Incidentally, at first when we came back to the UK we had to put the elder girl into private education because she simply couldn't cope with the English systems at all after being at an American school. She came back aged 11 never having written an essay in her life. English was all about filling missing words into blank spaces, not about expressing yourself or reading poetry or anything like that. And maths tests only ever covered a single topic, so when the kids came home to be confronted with sums of different kinds they were completely flummoxed!

    I guess some schools are good and some bad. I'm not sure why, but I don't think it has much to do with money.

  32. At 02:56 PM on 26 Feb 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    So no-one defends the idea of continuing to allow public schools charitable status then? Many tangents have been gone off at (oh dear, the grammar is highly sub-standard today -- sorry!), but no support for this as far as I can see. Interesting. Good even.

  33. At 02:57 PM on 26 Feb 2007, RJD wrote:

    Sara -- I was speaking from a very narrow viewpoint, basing my comments on what happens here in Northern Ireland.

    I don't doubt the excellent provision that "secondary" schools can offer. My own experience here is that the formulae used to determine funding for the schools is heavily biased in favour of "grammar" schools. This means that non-grammar schools and especially those without a sixth form are financially penalised with a subsequent effect on their teaching resources - human and other.

    Si -- I know that in earlier discussions you talked about your childrens' schooling and I've been waiting for you to come along and tackle this one.

    We live in a far from perfect world, so like you, I find my taxes being used for projects, services and ventures that I would much rather not support. There is no feasible way around that.

    If any organisation, school or otherwise, achieves charitable status my understanding is that they have substantial tax advantages. I don’t profess to know the details but they are not subject to the normal levies applied to any other commercial venture.

    So if they aren’t paying the “going rate” to the Exchequer then I and every other taxpayer is subsidising them. I have absolutely no objection to anyone attending a private school, just as I have no problem with private Healthcare. I just object to it being subsidised.

    It is

  34. At 04:33 PM on 26 Feb 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    Appy (31);
    I would defend it, if I understood it and thought it was a good thing. RJD has admitted in his (32) that he doesn't actually know what the implications are, which surprised me since he is against the notion. I thought he would be better informed and be able to explain it to me. Thus it seems like an ill-informed grudge position.

    I cannot see why denying a school charitable status is good. It just starts to smack of the politics of envy. Instead it might be a smart idea to consider that the fee-paying schools (call them private, public or whatever you like) achieve the best results of all the schools in the country. Few, if any, state schools match up to those levels of achievement.

    We should celebrate the success of those schools which do achieve these standards, not wish to abolish them, or make life difficult for them, and thereby drop their pupils into the pisspoor standards achieved by the state sector.

    Why must everything be reduced to the lowest common denominator? We should be looking to raise the standards of the state, not condemn the private sector. If the state gave a good education there would be NO private sector; we wouldn't need one. Point your anger at a state which accepts underachievement and excuses it, rather than those who try to break the poorly-cast mould.

    Oh, and don't be quoting 'value-added' figures. That's a distorting factor to confuse the foolish. Basically if your state school has good teachers, good facilities and a good catchment area you don't stand a chance in value-addition. If those pupils do well, then no-one is surprised.

    But if you have poor staff and poor facilities in a sink, inner-city area then you can get a great value-addition just by getting a few pupils to actually pass an exam or two. Even if on a straight comparison the results are still God-awful.

    The Aussies call it 'Tall Poppy Syndrome', this urge to cut down anything which raises itself above the normal level.

    Ponder this; despite fees increasing at above-inflation rates the private sector is expanding, has done for some years now. More and more parents are abandoning the state provision and are willing to pay the fees required, rather than subject their children to the sheer lousy underachievement of the state. At a time of £200k average houses and 5x salary mortgage offers, with little spare cash around. Ask yourselves; Why?

    And the state compounds the poor quality it offers by telling children that, despite the poverty of their education, they can be anything they want to be. It raises their hopes to the heavens. But someone has to sweep the streets and empty the bins. The let-down when cold, hard reality dawns outside the school gates, that only a few genuinely reach to the top, is IMHO one of the contributors to todays cynical and broken society.

    Interestingly the unions seem to have it in for Private Equity right now. But to see what a grammar school can do for a young man from the wrong side of the tracks check out the history of Damon Buffini, head of Permira.

    http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/article542274.ece

    When a school can take someone like him from a broken home in the rough part of Leicester and turn him into "the most powerful black man in Britain" then they can't be all bad, can they?

    Si.

  35. At 05:04 PM on 26 Feb 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    RJD,

    "If any organisation, school or otherwise, achieves charitable status my understanding is that they have substantial tax advantages. I don’t profess to know the details but they are not subject to the normal levies applied to any other commercial venture."

    A charitable institution needn't pay tax on any profit, so long as any profit is not distributed, but used to further the charitable aims and objectives. It is effectively the same for state or private educational enterprises. No state school is paying income or corporation tax. I suspect the new "city academies" are all incorporated as charities.

    Gifts to a charitable institution attract tax relief, which means that that portion of the contributor's taxes are effectively going to finance the charity for use again limited to it's charitable aims and objectives.

    Education isn't a profit-making undertaking. A charitable body may operate for-profit subsidiarities, but any income not applied (donated back) is subject5 to normal taxation. For example if a school operates a profitable garden centre, the profits go to the charitable aims or are taxed.

    Six and two threes, actually.
    xx
    ed

  36. At 06:07 PM on 26 Feb 2007, RJD wrote:

    Si - "an ill-informed grudge position"

    Well, I hope not. I helped set up a new College and chaired the steering group and subsequent Board of Governors for over 10 years so I have a little knowledge of the process and the finances.

    I don't think I could have made any clearer what my objection to charitable status was based on. The fact that I can’t or don’t care to itemise the specific monetary/tax advantages that accrue is irrelevant. Charitable status is either justified or not – I think it is not.

    As I said before, I have no objection whatsoever to private schools. That’s a choice that people make and good luck to them. Just don’t ask me to help pay for it - I’m already paying for the state schools.

  37. At 06:18 PM on 26 Feb 2007, Fearless Fred wrote:

    I'm on the fence regarding the issue of charitable status for fee-paying schools. I'll be clear from the start here and say I went to a fee-paying school myself. Without it, I don't know that I would be in the position I am at the moment, as a senior professional engineer in a large company. This school is registered as a charity. However, I'm also a person living on my own, hence I pay more per capita in my household towards local education than the couple with two children with both of the parents in full time work living next door. I see the arguments on both sides of the equation. Hence the fence-sitting. I've benefitted from the system in the past through my education, but now I contribute more to the system than those who are using the system...

    However, I think there's a sb-set of school that I am concerned about, and that is schools run by any specific religious group. To run a school as a specifically Catholic, Protestant, Islamic, or Jewish school to me can only lead to segregation between minorities, and fixes in the minds of children and young adults that their one, true religion is right, and all others are wrong. In those of a moderate frame of mind, that's bad enough. Those who may be open to being radicalised, or who are of a more extreme viewpoint can use this sort of mental framework as a basis for violence. If we are to make this country work with all it's sub-sets valued, religious schools should be closed. Over to my fellow froggers for comment...

  38. At 08:28 PM on 26 Feb 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    I think 'religious schools' are not that far away from 'home education', but on a cultural level. If adherence and practice in the sponsoring faith/philosophy is not required of pupils, although encouraged, that's fine by me.

    The pupils' parents have obviously chosen to place their young folk in the hands of cultural Elders. I think we have lost a lot with the breakdown of extended families living in close proximity. The loss of Grandparent-to-child route of cultural transfer and continuity is possibly connected to the current youth alienation and loss of respect for community.

    I would be happy for my children to attend a buddhist, Steiner, or even Christian or Jewish one, but not a Zionist one. In the event, they have been well served by the State system.

    Legitimate educational systems are by nature acharitable undertaking. Charity = love, = care.

    ed

    19
    Chüeh sheng ch'i chih
    Banish learning, discard knowledge,
    People will gain a hundredfold
    Banish benevolence, discard righteousness
    People will return to duty and compassion.
    Banish skill, discard profit:
    Their will be no more thieves.
    These three statements are not enough.
    One more step is necessary:
    Look at plain silk; hold uncarved wood.
    The self dwindles; desires fade.

    http://home.btconnect.com/tipiglen/tao.html


  39. At 08:43 PM on 26 Feb 2007, Anne P wrote:

    Fearless (35) as one who grew up in the sectarian Scotland of the 1950s (not as extreme as across the water but bad enough) I have seen the divisions fostered by the separate education of faith schools.

    I am totally opposed to them.

    Religious education for those who wish it for their children should be carried on completely outside of the normal education system. The latter should ensure that all children are aware of and respect people of other faiths and none, and are able to hold sensible discussions about why one belief system is more acceptable to particular groups than others. But no single belief system should be promulgated within any school - state funded or otherwise.

    And while I wouldn't ban private schools I wouldn't subsidise them either given the choice. A free market should be just that - and I would preserve the tax-payers' cash to ensure the best possible system of education be provided by the state.

    In the same way that a healthy person may be subsidising the NHS through their taxes, so someone sending a child to private school would have to accept that a portion of their taxes will not benefit them directly.

  40. At 10:20 AM on 27 Feb 2007, Molly wrote:

    What food for thought! I have always thought that 'charity' implied that there is a 'needy'
    aspect to the institution. Surely most fee-paying schools are not needy in that sense and therefore the term 'charitable' needs to be re-defined
    I have always felt that a child's emotional and social awareness of others is not helped in a school where their experiences of other people is limited .
    .I know that this often fails and the casualties are far too obvious-but there are so many children who are not unaware of the realities of what is a tough world .Can be quite daunting- the adult world with all it's 'shapes and sizes'.
    you can guess that I would prefer to see an improvement in State comps. I accept the right to pay ffor what you feel you prefer but don't think that would be my choice as a charity...

    Mollyxx

  41. At 02:44 PM on 27 Feb 2007, Sara wrote:

    I know I'm not going to be able to make out an adequate case for this, but I still feel that closing all faith schools could be throwing out babies with the bathwater. The contribution to education made by the C of E, for example, has been and still is very great. The funding of these church schools is a bit of a mystery to me as they are to all intents and purposes state schools but have a "faith" bias and are inspected both by the state and by the diocese.

    I think (but don't know enough to be sure) that C of E schools are rather different from other faith based schools - mainly, I suppose, because the C of E is the established church. The other faiths all seem to get their own schools because it apparently wouldn't be fair if they weren't all treated equally. I imagine David Icke could start a school if enough children wanted to go to it.

    Si and RJD and many of you seem to know much more than I do about all this - but just because one Muslim private school was teaching (or at least had text books on) subversive stuff doesn't seem to me to be a good reason to close the thousands of excellent C of E schools up and down the country.

    I think I'll hasten back to the beach now!

  42. At 02:46 PM on 27 Feb 2007, Sara wrote:

    I know I'm not going to be able to make out an adequate case for this, but I still feel that closing all faith schools could be throwing out babies with the bathwater. The contribution to education made by the C of E, for example, has been and still is very great. The funding of these church schools is a bit of a mystery to me as they are to all intents and purposes state schools but have a "faith" bias and are inspected both by the state and by the diocese.

    I think (but don't know enough to be sure) that C of E schools are rather different from other faith based schools - mainly, I suppose, because the C of E is the established church. The other faiths all seem to get their own schools because it apparently wouldn't be fair if they weren't all treated equally. I imagine David Icke could start a school if enough children wanted to go to it.

    Si and RJD and many of you seem to know much more than I do about all this - but just because one Muslim private school was teaching (or at least had text books on) subversive stuff doesn't seem to me to be a good reason to close the thousands of excellent C of E schools up and down the country.

    I think I'll hasten back to the beach now!

  43. At 02:50 PM on 27 Feb 2007, Sara wrote:

    I know I'm not going to be able to make out an adequate case for this, but I still feel that closing all faith schools could be throwing out babies with the bathwater. The contribution to education made by the C of E, for example, has been and still is very great. The funding of these church schools is a bit of a mystery to me as they are to all intents and purposes state schools but have a "faith" bias and are inspected both by the state and by the diocese.

    I think (but don't know enough to be sure) that C of E schools are rather different from other faith based schools - mainly, I suppose, because the C of E is the established church. The other faiths all seem to get their own schools because it apparently wouldn't be fair if they weren't all treated equally. I imagine David Icke could start a school if enough children wanted to go to it.

    Si and RJD and many of you seem to know much more than I do about all this - but just because one Muslim private school was teaching (or at least had text books on) subversive stuff doesn't seem to me to be a good reason to close the thousands of excellent C of E schools up and down the country.

    I think I'll hasten back to the beach now!

  44. At 02:52 PM on 27 Feb 2007, Sara wrote:

    I know I'm not going to be able to make out an adequate case for this, but I still feel that closing all faith schools could be throwing out babies with the bathwater. The contribution to education made by the C of E, for example, has been and still is very great. The funding of these church schools is a bit of a mystery to me as they are to all intents and purposes state schools but have a "faith" bias and are inspected both by the state and by the diocese.

    I think (but don't know enough to be sure) that C of E schools are rather different from other faith based schools - mainly, I suppose, because the C of E is the established church. The other faiths all seem to get their own schools because it apparently wouldn't be fair if they weren't all treated equally. I imagine David Icke could start a school if enough children wanted to go to it.

    Si and RJD and many of you seem to know much more than I do about all this - but just because one Muslim private school was teaching (or at least had text books on) subversive stuff doesn't seem to me to be a good reason to close the thousands of excellent C of E schools up and down the country.

    I think I'll hasten back to the beach now!

  45. At 02:54 PM on 27 Feb 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    I think 'religious schools' are not that far away from 'home education', but on a cultural level. If adherence and practice in the sponsoring faith/philosophy is not Absolutely Required of pupils, although encouraged, that's fine by me.

    The pupils' parents have obviously chosen to place their young folk in the hands of cultural Elders. I think we have lost a lot with the breakdown of extended families living in close proximity. The loss of Grandparent-to-child route of cultural transfer and continuity is possibly connected to the current youth alienation and loss of respect for community.

    I would have been happy for my children to attend a buddhist, Steiner, or even Christian or Jewish one, but not a Zionist one. In the event, they have been well served by the State system.

    Legitimate educational systems are by nature a charitable undertaking. Charity = love, = care.
    xx
    ed

  46. At 03:12 PM on 27 Feb 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    It took a shove and a re-posting (1500 today) to get #37 above to appear.
    Please Marc, be informed something is intermittently very weird.
    xx
    ed

  47. At 05:26 PM on 27 Feb 2007, Sara wrote:

    Ed at 45 is right - I had a devil of a job posting as the site simply froze for ten minutes or more at a time. Then four appeared, boring everyone rigid!

    Just now I've had an error message. And the comments have forgotten me so I had to enter my details again - it hasn't done that for ages.

    Please, Marc, can you sort it?

  48. At 05:31 PM on 27 Feb 2007, Sara wrote:

    Ed at 45 is right - I had a devil of a job posting as the site simply froze for ten minutes or more at a time. Then four appeared, boring everyone rigid!

    Just now I've had an error message. And the comments have forgotten me so I had to enter my details again - it hasn't done that for ages.

    Please, Marc, can you sort it?

  49. At 07:06 PM on 27 Feb 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Hear Hear Sara!
    ;-)
    ed

  50. At 09:11 AM on 28 Feb 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    Hm - I went to a C of E primary school and (seeing as I wasn't really old enough to join in the parental discussions or even care!) in retrospect I can see that out of the options available in the area it really was the best. I don't remeber a huge amount of religious teaching going on; assemblies every week with a few hymns thrown in but that was about as serious as it got (church at christmas but not at Easter).

    However, I know go to an evening class at a nearby RC primary school and theres no avoiding what religious teaching is going on there! Displays full of disciples, communion ,easter; throughout the school year the religious identity is constantly reinforced. They do also have 'comparative religion' type displays. I think the point I'm making is some religions, some faiths, are deeper, more a part of every day life than others. C of E seems to be something that people partake of on a sunday, its nothing something that is lived.

    But again, babies and bathwater, not all schools are the same and not all ways of practising a faith are the same. I think the quality of the edcucation must be the priority and by education I don't just mean the National Curriculum but respect, loyalty, care, friendship; if a community is to have these things they must be taught and reinforced both at home and in the schools.

    I think thats made some kind of point....watch me get 502'd!!

  51. At 09:33 AM on 28 Feb 2007, HelenSparkles wrote:

    David Miliband for President, oops, PM?! Hurrah, a real leadership challenge at last, please. Bet he won't be doing any press for a while, too trick to avoid those questions you want to ask him Eddie, like when. It isn't that I hate GB, or even that I vote for charisma, rather that the coronation senario is such a fix.

  52. At 09:42 AM on 28 Feb 2007, Sara wrote:

    Morning Witchiwoman. I am with you pretty much all the way - except that I don't think the reason the C of E schools are the way they (usually) are because it's a Sunday only thing - I think it is more because the old C of E is so firmly embedded in its establishment that it doesn't feel it needs to proselytise as much as the others!

    However, lets all wend our way to Brighton and Hove. Life's a lottery there!

  53. At 10:17 AM on 28 Feb 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    Sara - good point. I remember going on a school band trip to Germany and we were taken to one of the few churches in Bremen that had weathered the bombing. The tour guide asked what religion we were; she was met with bemused silence. C of E is what we knew, but we didn't know what that meant!!

  54. At 09:23 PM on 28 Feb 2007, HelenSparkles wrote:

    Interesting that the displays make you think that some religions are more lived witchiwoman, doesn't that just mean that aspects of them are being exhibited?

    I have no idea how anything is taught in any school, I just know a lot of people who live their faith quite quietly, and perhaps that is the englishness of Anglicanism here - all very polite!

  55. At 01:42 PM on 01 Mar 2007, Jacques wrote:

    re Sara (30)

    Your comment about Newport, Shropshire, brought back memories of staying at an old hotel in Newport (The Victoria Hotel? I think that that was its name). It was staffed by a number of very old people. Wonderful service. One was treated as an indivual. Nothing was a trouble to them.

    Without doubt all has changed now.

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