Libby Purves talks to two of the award winners in this year’s teaching awards - Patrick Hume, governor of the year for his work with St. Cecilia’sCollege - a girls’ Catholic school in Londonderry, Northern Ireland; and Gerry Curran, head for over twenty years at one of the most multicultural, multi-religious primary schools in Britain, Featherstone – a primary school in Southall, in the London Borough of Ealing.
The schools are utterly different, and a debate is raging over whether faith schools bring people together or split them apart. Alan Johnson meets this week with five major religions to talk about government policy on the subject. They discuss the pros and cons of state schools based on a faith – whichever one it might be.
It’s the 25th anniversary of the first integrated school in Northern Ireland, Lagan College in Belfast. Libby discusses the subject of integrated education with Michael Wardlow - Chief Executive Officer of The Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education (NICIE); and is also joined by Patrick Hume and Gerry Curran.
EDUCATION BILL & RELIGION
Meanwhile, on this side of the water – at the end of this month the third reading of the education bill. Almost daily amendments pop up – often about issues of religion. Libby speaks to Keith Porteous Wood of the National Secular Society who has been keeping an eye on the religious aspects of the education bill, and the push towards more faith schools.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH
Jamal Msebele has won a handful of awards including the Damilola Taylor Award and the Mayor of London Black History Scholar. He’s also the winner of the John Betjeman Young People’s Poetry competition for his poem Kaleidoscope. Reporter Melissa Viney, spoke to him about his awards and winning poem.
The Kana Foundation School at the Institute of Education, University of London, run classes every Sunday – in English, Maths, Performing Arts and African and Caribbean studies. It opens its second successful year with scholarships being offered for places at the School during Black History month.