The issue of certain faith-based schools is in the media today. Specifically whether certain schools in Birmingham were targeted for take-over by islamic extremists. Lots of allegations floating around with lots of denials.
Determining the truth of the matter is not likely to be easy – do I believe Tory ministers or religious nutters? By nature, I’m inclined to ignore both.
But there is a simple answer to this problem. Take any sort of faith out of all schools; schools are supposed to be about education and not about fairy stories. Any kind of faith activity should be classified as an extra-curricular activity that takes place outside school and has no interference with the normal school curriculum.
It is probable that most faith based schools are relatively harmless, although even the best will lead to a sense of exclusion for those in attendance whose faith does not match that of the school. And of course teenagers are probably the most likely group to change religion or reject religion altogether.
But whenever faith-based schools are permitted, there is always the chance that some form of extremism may creep into the curriculum. And that includes all religions – there are extremist christians who want to block the teaching of evolution as well as extremist muslims, hindus, etc.
Ban ’em all.