No real rationale for new Church of England school

IT was interesting to read Danielle Wilson s complimentary letter about her upbringing and now career in a Church of England School (Strong case for CoE school, H&H letters April 12). But she gives no rational explanation as to why Camden s new secondary

IT was interesting to read Danielle Wilson's complimentary letter about her upbringing and now career in a Church of England School (Strong case for CoE school, H&H letters April 12). But she gives no rational explanation as to why Camden's new secondary school, paid for by us, the taxpayers, should be given the title of a CoE school.

In the last census only 47.1 per cent of Camden residents claimed to be Christians, and many of those would be Free Church, Catholic or Orthodox members.

A Guardian survey of head teachers in December 2006 showed that almost all were against the expansion of faith schools and academies even though 28 per cent of the respondents work in faith schools! Surveys of teaching unions and of parents show similar results again and again.

A Guardian Christmas Eve survey also showed that 63 per cent of the nation claimed not to be religious and 62 per cent said the UK is a country of many faiths.


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Of course foundation and voluntary aided schools, now funded mainly by we taxpayers, have long histories of excellent results - most of them have had helpful selection techniques which are now being discouraged.

But our community schools also have excellent results. Over the years I have been privileged to visit some of them and have felt very inspired by the fantastic job they are doing, not just by improving exam results, but contributing to community building and cohesion, and showing respect and understanding for others of different backgrounds, languages and beliefs.

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Camden Council puts an enormous amount of effort into the task of community cohesion, and were highly commended for this work in a recent OFSTED inspection.

Let us all celebrate and learn from the multi-cultural, multi-linguistic and multi-belief society we are privileged to live in and stop splitting children up according to the claimed religious beliefs of their parents, or their lack of beliefs.

Diana Rookledge

President, Hampstead Humanist Society

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