Teachers Demand Ban on New Faith Schools

April 13, 2007

Author: Donald MacLeod

Source: The Guardian Unlimited


Teachers have demanded a halt to the government's plans for a new generation of faith schools.

But the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) annual conference in Belfast today stopped short of calling for existing faith schools to be phased out.

The Northern Ireland setting, where schools reflect community divisions between Catholics and Protestants, guaranteed a highly charged debate.

Brian Williams, of the union's Cardiff branch, who proposed the motion, said: "Schools exist to broaden people's minds and religions tend to be the antithesis. Religions are there to close people's minds. Schools exist to educate. Religions exist to indoctrinate. It's a con-trick."

Mr Williams warned that faith schools would lead the country into greater social segregation and potential conflict.