Author Topic: LIVING WITH DIFFERENCE, a government paper.  (Read 796 times)

ippy

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LIVING WITH DIFFERENCE, a government paper.
« on: December 14, 2015, 07:45:12 PM »
http://tinyurl.com/nbxlxpl

ippy

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« Last Edit: December 14, 2015, 08:16:32 PM by Gordon »

Hope

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Re: LIVING WITH DIFFERENCE, a government paper.
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2015, 08:09:54 PM »
Haven't read it all, but have read the Exec. Summary.  Seems to summarise the argument that I and several other Christians have made over the last few years.
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ippy

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Re: LIVING WITH DIFFERENCE, a government paper.
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2015, 08:14:17 PM »
Haven't read it all, but have read the Exec. Summary.  Seems to summarise the argument that I and several other Christians have made over the last few years.

As long as it's moving toward equal representation for all groups; no privileges for any one group either.

ippy

Hope

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Re: LIVING WITH DIFFERENCE, a government paper.
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2015, 09:06:04 PM »
As long as it's moving toward equal representation for all groups; no privileges for any one group either.

ippy
Quite agree; its a pity that Parliament hasn't taken the Church's urgings over the last 50-odd years seriously.
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ippy

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Re: LIVING WITH DIFFERENCE, a government paper.
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2015, 10:13:33 PM »
Quite agree; its a pity that Parliament hasn't taken the Church's urgings over the last 50-odd years seriously.

While the state is is financing recruitment and other advantages for the church it won't seriously be urging any changes; Turkeys voting for christmas? I may well look daft, but including me, I don't think many of us are that daft.

ippy

Hope

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Re: LIVING WITH DIFFERENCE, a government paper.
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2015, 08:49:58 AM »
While the state is is financing recruitment and other advantages for the church it won't seriously be urging any changes; Turkeys voting for christmas? I may well look daft, but including me, I don't think many of us are that daft.

ippy
In what ways is the state 'financing recruitment' for the church, ippy?  I assume that you are referring to RE in schools; if so, it highlights how little understanding you have of RE syllabuses. 
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ProfessorDavey

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Re: LIVING WITH DIFFERENCE, a government paper.
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2015, 10:54:50 AM »
In what ways is the state 'financing recruitment' for the church, ippy?  I assume that you are referring to RE in schools; if so, it highlights how little understanding you have of RE syllabuses.
Have you checked out the RE syllabuses in state funded catholic schools Hope. Effectively it is entirely about developing the children's catholic faith. And indeed much of the rest of the school's ethos (funded of course by the state) is about developing the next generation of catholics. So for instance celebrations that in any other school would be an assembly or leavers event etc in catholic schools are a 'mass'.

So this is directly from the Catholic Education Service:

'What is the purpose of Religious Education in Catholic schools?
Catholic schools, with RE at their core, exist in order to "help parents, priests and teachers to hand on the Deposit of Faith in its fullness to a new generation of young people so that they may come to understand the richness of the Catholic faith, and thereby be drawn into a deeper communion with Christ in his Church." '

That isn't about learning about religion it is about developing a single and specific religious belief. And as you delve deeper any notion of comparative religion is pretty well missing - the only mentions of other religions are specifically in the context of catholicism.

And that's what is occurring in 10% of the schools in England and Wales.

So perhaps it is you, Hope, who needs to understand a little more about RE in state funded faith schools.

Shaker

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Re: LIVING WITH DIFFERENCE, a government paper.
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2015, 11:00:09 AM »
Busted! as I believe the youngsters say.
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ippy

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Re: LIVING WITH DIFFERENCE, a government paper.
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2015, 01:08:13 PM »
Have you checked out the RE syllabuses in state funded catholic schools Hope. Effectively it is entirely about developing the children's catholic faith. And indeed much of the rest of the school's ethos (funded of course by the state) is about developing the next generation of catholics. So for instance celebrations that in any other school would be an assembly or leavers event etc in catholic schools are a 'mass'.

So this is directly from the Catholic Education Service:

'What is the purpose of Religious Education in Catholic schools?
Catholic schools, with RE at their core, exist in order to "help parents, priests and teachers to hand on the Deposit of Faith in its fullness to a new generation of young people so that they may come to understand the richness of the Catholic faith, and thereby be drawn into a deeper communion with Christ in his Church." '

That isn't about learning about religion it is about developing a single and specific religious belief. And as you delve deeper any notion of comparative religion is pretty well missing - the only mentions of other religions are specifically in the context of catholicism.

And that's what is occurring in 10% of the schools in England and Wales.

So perhaps it is you, Hope, who needs to understand a little more about RE in state funded faith schools.

It's not as though that's the only area where religion leaches off of the state, they  do this very quietly, a little bit here, a little bit there that in the end it beclomes a wopping great bit over all.

Ippy

Hope

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Re: LIVING WITH DIFFERENCE, a government paper.
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2015, 01:57:57 PM »
Have you checked out the RE syllabuses in state funded catholic schools Hope. Effectively it is entirely about developing the children's catholic faith.
I accept that I've never taught in a Catholic School, but have friends who send their children to such schools.  What you have described here doesn't match what they tell me about the RE syllabuses that their children follow.  OK, I'd agree that there are different syllabuses across the UK, (and not just within RE) and there may be some syllabuses that are more akin to the ones you describe than the ones I'm accustomed to.

By the way, how many RC schools are there in the UK, when compared with the total number?
« Last Edit: December 15, 2015, 02:03:43 PM by Hope »
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ProfessorDavey

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Re: LIVING WITH DIFFERENCE, a government paper.
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2015, 07:53:16 AM »
I accept that I've never taught in a Catholic School, but have friends who send their children to such schools.  What you have described here doesn't match what they tell me about the RE syllabuses that their children follow.  OK, I'd agree that there are different syllabuses across the UK, (and not just within RE) and there may be some syllabuses that are more akin to the ones you describe than the ones I'm accustomed to.

By the way, how many RC schools are there in the UK, when compared with the total number?
Well my wife used to teach in catholic schools and I have close relatives, my nieces how have attended catholic schools in London and near to you, plus plenty of friends whose children do too. And my experience is that their RE curriculum accords very closely with that set out by the Catholic Education Service guidance (who of course are the overarching educational body for those schools).

So a good example of RE being to teach children to be catholics rather than about catholicism as one religion in an unbiased manner in the context of other religions being common curriculum in year 2. You may know this is the age when RCC expect children to take first communion (age 7 - way too young in my opinion). The whole year 2 curriculum is effectively an extended preparation for that first communion, specifically leading up to the ceremonies which are traditionally held in May. I've seen this in a number of RCC schools, not just one so it seems to be standard. Now nominally first holy communion and its preparation are extra curricular, but in reality this is run through the schools and through their RE curriculum.

The curriculum in these schools is astonishingly narrow, and about 'developing our faith' - in other words an assumption that the children are catholics and an objective to develop that faith further. To my mind this is really RI not RE.

And a further problem - who inspects RE in catholic (indeed all faith schools I believe) schools - not independent inspectors, for example Ofsted, but their own religious inspectors. So it isn't surprising that catholic RE inspectors inspecting a catholic RE curriculum aimed at developing young catholics don't kick up a fuss that the curriculum is narrow, biased and aimed at producing new catholics.

On numbers - in England (not sure about Wales) 10% of all schools, some 2000 are catholic, so this isn't a one off but a major part of the state funded schooling in England - and of course that is 10% of the funding for state schools as the funding per pupil for these schools is effectively identical to other schools.

Private Frazer

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Re: LIVING WITH DIFFERENCE, a government paper.
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2015, 08:13:35 AM »
While the state is is financing recruitment and other advantages for the church it won't seriously be urging any changes; Turkeys voting for christmas? I may well look daft, but including me, I don't think many of us are that daft.

ippy
Turkey's voting for Christmas? It seems to me that Catholic schools are very adept at producing angry ex catholic axegrinders who are far more vocal and seem to have more of a case than that other great wing of antitheism.........A Bland inherited dufferism which doesn't really know what it believes or disbelieves or why it does so. I would have thought Catholic schools were atheism's biggest recruiting sergeant.

The trouble is foundationalism. Without religious bodies there would be fewer schools and the state and governments know that a future acquisitive materialist society may not be that interested in public institutions and the church will have to step in.

Against this of course there could be a commitment to run schools properly and socially but the government seem to have a knack on education perpetually being on the verge of disaster awaiting the private sector which isn't really at all interested in education and training.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2015, 08:17:30 AM by On stage before it wore off. »

Hope

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Re: LIVING WITH DIFFERENCE, a government paper.
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2015, 08:52:27 AM »
So a good example of RE being to teach children to be catholics rather than about catholicism as one religion in an unbiased manner in the context of other religions being common curriculum in year 2. You may know this is the age when RCC expect children to take first communion (age 7 - way too young in my opinion). The whole year 2 curriculum is effectively an extended preparation for that first communion, specifically leading up to the ceremonies which are traditionally held in May. I've seen this in a number of RCC schools, not just one so it seems to be standard. Now nominally first holy communion and its preparation are extra curricular, but in reality this is run through the schools and through their RE curriculum.
Thanks for that, PD.  I have to rely on what friends who send their children to such schools for the bulk of my knowledge of their syllabuses.  Here in the Vale of Glamorgan, we have 3 RC Primary Schools and 1 RC Secondary school (though some RC teenagers move across the county border to the St David's Sixth Form College in Cardiff later in their school careers).  So 3 primaries out of 48, 1 secondary out of 11.  Interestingly, there are 7 Voluntary Aided Church in Wales primaries and 3 Voluntary Controlled CiW primaries and no CiW secondary schools (in the Vale) - there is one such secondary in Cardiff.  Ironically, there are 6 Welsh medium Primary Schools and 1 such secondary school in the Vale.  Most of the parents I know who send their children to RC primaries are happy that their school has a fairly wide RE curriculum, and don't simply major on RC doctrine.

Quote
The curriculum in these schools is astonishingly narrow, and about 'developing our faith' - in other words an assumption that the children are catholics and an objective to develop that faith further. To my mind this is really RI not RE.
If that is the case in any school, I'd agree with your pov

Quote
And a further problem - who inspects RE in catholic (indeed all faith schools I believe) schools - not independent inspectors, for example Ofsted, but their own religious inspectors. So it isn't surprising that catholic RE inspectors inspecting a catholic RE curriculum aimed at developing young catholics don't kick up a fuss that the curriculum is narrow, biased and aimed at producing new catholics.
I believe that all Welsh schools are fully inspected by ESTYN - the Welsh version of OFSTED.
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ProfessorDavey

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Re: LIVING WITH DIFFERENCE, a government paper.
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2015, 10:53:22 AM »
Without religious bodies there would be fewer schools
Why - these are state maintained schools, why would there be any less is the current state maintained faith schools converted into state maintained non-faith schools.

and the state and governments know that a future acquisitive materialist society may not be that interested in public institutions and the church will have to step in.
What are you on about - these school are already funded by the state and the state has an obligation in law to provide education to all school age children - why would the state suddenly lose interest. And of course the reason these schools actually exist, back from the 1944 Education Act, is because the churches could no longer afford to run the schools and the state stepped in to bail them out, but allowed churches to retain control (a mistake I believe).

ProfessorDavey

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Re: LIVING WITH DIFFERENCE, a government paper.
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2015, 11:05:25 AM »
I believe that all Welsh schools are fully inspected by ESTYN - the Welsh version of OFSTED.
The situation with RE in faith schools in Wales is identical to that in England.

So for non faith schools RE is inspected as part of the main inspection by Ofsted or Estyn. For faith schools however (whether in England or Wales) RE is separated from the main inspection and is not inspected by Ofsted or Estyn, but is inspected separately by inspectors appointed by the governing body, which in reality means groups of inspectors provided by the relevant religious denomination. So this is clearly not independent or 'arms-length' as is the case for Ofsted/Estyn.

The specific wording from Estyn:

'Some schools have a religious character and teach 'denominational education' as a particular form of religious education. Denominational education does not follow the locally agreed syllabus, but instead follows a syllabus determined by the individual school or group of schools with a particular religious character. Estyn does not inspect denominational education as part of its usual school inspections as it is inspected separately by inspectors appointed by the governing body of the school'