Thereis an immense divide between faith schools and non-faith schools; whereasnon-faith schools accept everyone, to apply for a faith school some certaincriteria must be met.
Faith schools defined to have students from a ‘particular religious faith’ (1) hence almost isolatingthe students from different religious faiths Social cohesion is when ‘members of a society to cooperate with each other inorder to survive and prosper’ (2) thus creating a community of trust andbelonging. By faith schools separating their pupils from others, therefore onlyallowing social cohesion to take place within the other selective students withthe same faith/beliefs, does this have a negative social impact when facingothers with different faiths and morals in life? In my essay I will makeaddress two arguments for this question; one side stating that faith schoolindeed have a negative social impact on students, whereas the other side willargue that actually faith schools do not but rather have a more positive socialimpact than most non-faith schools. Faith schools arecharacterised to ‘socially or academically selective education’ (3) by onlyaccepting ‘deprived’ (3) children and those children with ‘ambitious wealthierparents’ (3). By this faith schools are neglecting a large quantity of studentsthey theoretically isolate and cut off their attending students from the restof the world. It is further indicated by the same article that faith schools don’t’respect the autonomy of children’ when they chose to follow a different faithfrom the school. Also are said to ‘discriminate against everyone’ however nottheir own.
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This decimating nature is then imprinted onto the children attendingfaith school which could result to creating an immense racial divide. I gathered this evidence from an article posted by the ‘Humanists UK’where they clearly state on their opening paragraph ‘we summarise the mainarguments against faith schools’ (3).This shows that they are an exceedingly bias source which only focuses on thenegative impact of faith schools which instantly makes them an unreliable anduntrustworthy source as they only present one side of the argument.Furthermore, this website also signifies that they base their research from anarticle ‘BHA Briefing 2006/4: Faith Schools’ (4); this article written in 2006is outdate further making this source highly undependable for the reason that thefacts presented about faith schools may now be untrue as of current affairs.
This also gives evidence that the source ‘Humanists UK’ is solely based as aresponse to the article ‘BHA Briefing 2006/4’ with the attention to provide amore open response to the negative points addressed by ‘BHA Briefing’. However,this source ‘Humanists UK’ presents a significant amount of stats and datesshowing evidencing of their claims written in this article. The overall tonedisplayed throughout the article seems to be a very unbiased and professionalattitude. In addition to this, the article does not include any personalopinions or bestow any exaggerating claims without displaying research provingtheir point. Nevertheless, the humanists are a group of people not experts thatbelieve in ‘brining non-religious people together’ the term ‘non-religious’proves that they aren’t supportive of religious people which would explain whythey focused more on the negative influences of faith schools rather than thepositive impressions of faith schools.Moreover, it wascommented by the guardian that ‘children of differentbeliefs, would happily develop mutual understanding and respect and live forever in peaceful harmony’ (5). This agrees with the fact that it’s not thereligion imbedded into the education environment that may cause negative socialcohesion; it’s how the children are socialised to different races andbackgrounds that affect this factor.
Therefore this would hint that non-faithschools would have a much more positive social cohesion since they tend to havea much larger variation of races and background. Because of this largervariation different races and backgrounds, children attending non-faith schooltend to be more socialised and promote social cohesion. The Guardian, a Britishnewspaper, is seen as a ‘reliable news source’ (6) which focuses on giving theworld ‘factually accurate’ (6) news reports and because of this they are nowknown internationally; because of its large audience around the globe dependingon The Guardian to produce factual information and keep them up to date on thenews, we trust that this source is highly reliable and unbiased. However,Wikipedia and many other sources inform us that The Guardian is ‘a platform forliberal and left-wing’ (7). Because of The Guardians political tendencies intheir news makes the source slightly unreliable; considering they broadcastnews around the world and they ‘not always’ (7) include any political views intheir articles, The Guardian is still seen as a objectively reliable source.
Nevertheless,in the same article the guardian makes some strong claims that ‘faith schoolsturn communities against each other’ (5) with no evidence to back up any ofthis as they further criticise faith schools. This lack of supporting evidencemakes these claims outrages and the article dishonest and undependable. Thearticle was written by Francis Beckett, a journalist broadcaster andcontemporary historian, because she’s a writer of a reckonable source wouldmake her article genuine and authentic. Likewise, because she is a contemporaryhistorian infers that she could use this skill to state facts on faith school’shistory and compare them to the present standard of faith schools. Yet thegeneral tone of the article is written harsh and damaging, reading the articleit is visible the author is one sided and bias. This can be seen though herfirst paragraph as she opens with a faith schools seeing a killing to be’honour killing’ (5). This massive claim with evidence of the event withoutdisplaying a fair argument for both sides, the author influences her audienceto be against faith schools. The author then continues to expand on thisincident and link it to other incidents that have a destructive impact on faithschools; she only emphasises on the negatives aspects of faith schools butincludes a wide range of evidence, facts, past events and statistics thatbackup her choice to criticize faith schools.
Additionally, it would make sense thatfaith schools do as much as they can to tackle this problematic stereotype ‘faithschools cause negative social cohesion’ and try to have a positive impact onsocial cohesion. It is titled by the BBC that ‘Secondary schools run by faithgroups are better than non-religious schools at building community relations'(8). This headline underlines that drastic changes have been made by faithschools, presenting the urge of faith schools to socialise and have a positiveimpact on their students. The BBC is a well trusted and have a high standard ofaccuracy since it has one of the biggest audiences; displaying worldwide newsin Britain, being called ‘the most reliable source in the world’ (9) and beingrated as the ‘UK’s top news source’ by the guardian (10). The BBC has a wellrespectful standard of producing factual information.
However, the BBC has beenaccused of being politically bias but very little to no research and evidenceis presented to confirm this accusation. However, the BBC only targets toproduce information based in Britain, though they produce worldwide news, theirarticles such as the article written about faith schools is based in Britainnot globally. In this same article written by the BBC, it isstated that faith schools were rated higher ‘by Ofsted inspectors on what is called “community cohesion” (8).This article shows that faith schools are tremendously battling negative socialcohesion and educating their students about different faiths and look for a’common ground while respecting difference’ (8). In this article by the BBC,research is presented by Professor David Jesson of York University. ProfessorJesson analysis the Ofsted reports on 400 secondary schools and 700 primaryschools, as he examines these reports he focuses on the inspectors rating onthe new legal duty to ‘promote community cohesion’. Since Professor Jesson takesin account a large variation of reports and because of his title of being aprofessor we trust that he will be unbiased and give factual, truthfulinformation in his research.
Nevertheless, the reports the Professor uses forhis research may not be accurate as the BBC also reported ‘Ofsted has not doneenough to ensure school inspections are reliable’ (11). Because of theunreliability of the reports made by Ofsted, Professor Jessons researchinstantly becomes unreliable too. Professor Jesson’s research concluded that faith schools were generallyrated higher, out of the 74 faith schools charted ’24 (32%) were rated”outstanding” at community relations’ (8). This compared to the 337 non-faithschools charted, ’55 (16%) were given the same grade’ (8) shows that faithschools were rated significantly higher.
This overall proves that faith schoolsindeed have a greater encouraging social influence amongst their communities;contributing larger than non-faith schools this disproves claims that faithschools cause a social divide in communities.It is well known that faith schools have received a lot of negativeattention and comments about them creating a divide in communities and overallhaving a negative social impact on students’ lives. The Catholic Heraldinterviewed Bishop Alan and headlines this interview ‘The next big challenge isgoing to be defending our catholic schools’ (12). This opening title makes Iclear that running a successful faith school is challenging, in addition thisoutlines that there are many improvements that can be made to faith schoolsthat still need to take place and happen according to Bishop Alan. Moreover,Bishop Alan states in the interview ‘if one of the schools in this diocesebecomes 80 per cent non-Catholic, I would be very unhappy to put too much ofour funds into it’ (12) this shows one of the reasons why faith schools, inthis case catholic schools, have a certain criteria that their students mustfollow their faith; since if the mass majority doesn’t follow the faith, theschool would overall be funded less. This may be the reason why faith schoolsgo under mass negative attention for dividing students and not allowing entryfor some for the reason that they want to continue getting funded to educatetheir students.
The Bishop further goes on to say ‘We need to think about howwe can educate that 20 per cent’ (12) this proves he has no interest intofunding the non-Catholic children which is understandable as he would initiallyonly want to fund children of his faith. This would pressurise massively uponthe faith school; since consequently, faith schools will be under threat oflosing their school fund. Bishop Alan also mentions he is fully aware thatfaith schools are being confronted to ‘conform with so many values that reflectsecular and humanist doctrine’ (12) however he does not comment much on what sections exactly need to improve and how he isgoing to validate the faith schools change for the better. Bishop Alan’s responseto the values that must be met by faith schools as ‘the next big challenge’ (12)he leaves us with hardly any direction but allows us to interpret his viewpoint, that faith schools need to change.
This source thatinterviewed the bishop, Catholic Herald, reports solitary on news linked toreligion which already suggests the fact that they will be very one sided whenreporting news evidencing that it’s an untrustworthy source; as the magazinefrom observing the website only reports on the positive feedback and neglectsany negative news about Christianity. Moreover, it is now labelled by Wikipediaas a ‘magazine’ (13) and in their history, they were a newspaper source whichconverted to a magazine, this illustrates that it isn’t their profession toreport on factual information and be unbiased. As a catholic magazine, they interviewedBishop Alan regarding various topics but because of their background they arelikely to remove any question or any response by Bishop Alan that may cause anegative backfire. Because the source itself is a catholic source, it isexpected for them to have a handful of censorship and neglect any attentionthat may have a negative impact on their religion. On top of that, this articlewas written in 2014 and has no follow ups of the many topics Bishop Alanaddresses to confirm that the issues mentioned during the interview have beensolved or process has been made.
Though the interview posted is reliable and isa primary source to them. In conclusion, Ibelieve faith schools do not cause social cohesion. Although they are targetedand heavily criticized, a massive turn around can be visibly seen. Faith schooldo take in count of these issues and try their utmost effort to prove theseaccusations are false.
Faith schools will be continued to be despised by somecritics, in some cases not because they have something personally against faithschools, because they are afraid of the idea that faith schools will becoming moreand more popular and that faith schools are so specific to one faith