Two simple questions:
- How do you promote social cohesion by segregating children according to their parents' religion?
- How do young people make a free and informed choice about what to believe if they spend their entire education in schools which promote a single narrow word-view?
Putting it as simply as possible:
- How does segregation promote harmony?
- How does ignorance provide freedom of choice?
"To promote inclusive education where pupils from different backgrounds and beliefs are taught together so they can learn with one another and about one another."
- That children in inclusive schools, compared to those in segregated schools, develop better understanding of, and more tolerant attitudes towards, those from different backgrounds and beliefs.
- That understanding our common humanity, and tolerance of different beliefs, come from mixing with those different from yourself.
- That education should encourage open and enquiring minds.
- That good community relations and social cohesion depend on integration, not segregation.
- That there are no religious children - only religious parents.
- That all children have the right to learn about all of the world's belief systems - religious and non-religious.
- That education should equip young people to make a free and informed choice about which beliefs to follow.
- That we share a common culture to which we can each contribute depending on the richness of our backgrounds.
- That with rights go responsibilities - particularly towards children.
- That schools should be subject to the same Human Rights legislation as other organisations.
- That schools should not discriminate in pupil selection or staff employment.
- That education is a shared social responsibility funded by taxpayers so schools should be accountable to the whole of the local community - not just parents.
"Segregation, albeit self-segregation, is an unacceptable basis for a harmonious community and it will lead to more serious problems if it is not tackled"
Cantle Report into riots in Oldham, 2001