Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Blessed Are the Poor?

A report has revealed what many of us long suspected - that faith schools are able to 'cherry-pick' their intake and thus boost their exam results and league table places. Faith schools, it seems, take in kids from families who are "significantly more affluent" than the average for the area in which they are located.

Using government figures for schools across London, the report - produced by academics from the London School of Economics and the University of London - found that only 17% of faith school pupils qualify for free school meals, much less than the average 25%, and that the schools educate fewer than 20% of the lowest-ability kids compared with 31% at secular schools.

Defenders of faith schools often point to their better-then-average exam results as some kind of 'proof' that being schooled in superstition is good for kids. Now we know how they do it - not through moral rigour but through immoral manipulation of the system. I look forward to their next declaration of their spiritual superiority to the rest of us.

And yet, despite this, the government is paving the way for more religious schools. Heaven forbid.

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