Just who are Faith Schools for?

A new analysis places non-belief (i.e. “no religious affiliation”) in younger people in the UK at 70% – almost the same as the British Social Attitudes Survey, which gave 71%. Of the remaining 30%, 10% are Catholics but only 7% Anglican, and 6% are Muslim. The report can be downloaded here.
The analysis is very credible in that it isn’t the work of us heathens – it is published by The Benedict XVI Centre at St Mary’s University Twickenham and the Institut Catholique de Paris (not exactly disinterested parties, I’d guess), based on the European Social Survey data.
Whilst we need to be very careful about what we call this 70%, it is clear that this will roughly equate to non-belief – at least in the same way that those who profess an affiliation to a religion can be assumed to have a belief (apparently many don’t, they just like the social aspects, ritual, singing etc). And that is before we start to look at how many of this age group feel that they should identify as having as affiliation to a religion because their parents do, even though they have no belief themselves.
In my own experience (having married into a devout catholic family) is that in the generation approaching retirement, the majority have lost their religion and the next generation has no religious belief whatsoever. Their children, now approaching school age, have grown up with parents that have little or no belief and will be unlikely to acquire any (because that tends not to happen) – even Faith Schools have an abysmal record of inculcating belief into kids.
This level on non-belief, and the rapid direction of travel downwards, is strange given the number of Faith Schools and their expansion plans, supported and encouraged by the government. A point made by Humanists UK here.
A third of state funded schools are Faith Schools and that proportion rises to 40% at primary level, according to the Humanists UK piece, in which their Chief Executive Andrew Copson points out:
“…our education system is currently set up in such a way as to discriminate against the majority of children within it. It is an education system that is no longer fit for purpose. The state ought to address the disproportionate and undue influence of religion in our schools immediately.”
So, we already have more Faith School provision than there are Faithful to fill them all, and that assumes that all these faithful kids actually want to go to a Faith School, which I very much doubt. And if that is the case, then why should those with no belief be placed in Faith Schools they don’t want?
I have no idea where the legal challenge to Faith Schools will come from in our society, but it surely will come and, when it does come I suspect that it will disastrous for those schools – better the government recognise the problem and call a halt to this discriminatory madness now.

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