Pay twice for education

HAVING spent 30 years in faith schools in Shropshire, Avon/Somerset and Yorkshire, I am saddened by the transport prospect for faith schools

HAVING spent 30 years in faith schools in Shropshire, Avon/Somerset and Yorkshire, I am saddened by the transport prospect for faith schools. The parents of pupils in such schools pay twice for education - through local and Government taxes and again through donations to their churches. I taught in Roman Catholic schools which were by no means exclusive, places being highly prized by non-Catholics seeking a good education for their children, whilst for the Church the inclusion of such pupils was part of its ministry to the wider community, and a means of enriching the service it provided. Such schools indeed provide a genuine and diverse mix of socioeconomic backgrounds, cultures and faith, and are often, quite correctly, praised by inspectors for the quality of education provided.I find an irony in the present climate when in recent years attempts have been made to reduce the use of car journeys to school (School Transport Bill 2004), and to extend free transport to school to benefit the less wealthy families (Education and Inspections Act, 2006). Christian education is essential for democracy and freedom of speech and thought. Conversely, Catholic parents may well have grave crises of conscience when faced with ethical teaching and practices in non-Catholic schools. This is hardly a recipe for sound parental-school co-operation, so essential for successful education.J S F MCLORINAN - Severn Road, Weston


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