Before we dive into the main topic, where we will thoroughly enlighten you on the many Pros and Cons of a Faith school, let us detour and give you a proper breakdown of what a Faith School is all about.
What is a Faith School?
Faith schools are learning institutions that operate with a “religious character” or a “faith ethos“. Most schools’ activities are often underpinned by their religious values and traditions.
They can also be referred to as the type of schools financially supported by a particular religious group. It should be of note that most of these Faith schools often prefer applicants who practice the school’s religion.
While some parents believe it is essential to have their children educated in line with their religious practices, others feel that it is alienating, discriminatory, and even hazardous.
Most primary schools in the United Kingdom are faith-based, and as of September 2014, there were 6,210 state-funded faith primary schools.
There are two types of Faith schools: State-funded Faith schools and Private/Independent Faith schools.
Features of a Faith School
1. Learning at this type of school is often influenced by the religion it practices. The manner of learning at these schools often aligns with what the religion teaches.
2. Teaching and learning at the school is a potpourri of excellent academic programs and religious guidance.
Students are provided with outstanding education and are enlightened about the history of their religion and how it is practised. The school helps them to build a solid and rewarding relationship with God.
3. Even though they are obligated to follow the National Curriculum, they can choose what they teach in religious studies. The lesson plan for religious studies can be designed at the school’s discretion.
4. Faith Schools have their specific admission procedure. Some only accept students who attend their religious programs, either weekly, monthly, or yearly. At the same time, some admit all students who practice their religion, even if they don’t attend the school’s place of worship.
5. Section 48 of the Act states that most faith schools are exempted from Ofsted Inspections. Instead, inspections are usually carried out by someone chosen by the school’s governing body.
6. When it comes to sex education, they are not obligated to enlighten the children much; they can choose to only teach them abstinence until marriage.
7. Most of these schools are allowed to reject children whose parents don’t practice the institution’s faith. A Christian-themed school can decide to turn down a Muslim student.
8. The majority of teachers at Faith schools often practice the school’s religion. Most schools only employ teachers who share their faith.
Now that you’re familiar with the concept of Faith schools and how they work, it is time to move on to their merits and demerits.
Here is an examination of the numerous Pros and Cons of a Faith school.
Pros of a Faith School
1. A faith school provides the young ones with absolute religious enlightenment and offers powerful spiritual guidance that helps nurture them as well-rounded and well-adjusted individuals. It helps to nurture the young ones in the way of the Lord and raise them as independent and upstanding members of society.
2. Enrollment at a faith school is of optimal benefit to parents who wish to provide their young ones with a solid religious foundation. The school strives to teach the young ones everything there is to know about their religion and ensures that they practice it to the fullest.
3. Faith schools are often ranked as one of the top-performing schools in the state due to their academic track record. Students of these schools are mostly known for their outstanding academic achievements. The school strives to uphold this record at all costs.
4. Students who attend faith schools are often well-mannered, disciplined, polite, honest, and respectful. The school maintains a strict setting where every child is expected to always be on their best behaviour. A clearly stated code of conduct guides students’ activities, and consequences are swiftly applied when they don’t act accordingly.
5. School often feels like a home away from home because the students are nurtured with the type of faith they were born into and raised with. This often inspires the children to stay in school and enjoy every teaching moment.
6. Attending a Faith school ensures that the student’s belief system remains unchallenged. Unlike when children attend a school that practices a different faith or one that doesn’t practice any at all, Faith schools complement all they have been taught from home instead of contradicting it.
7. Most of these schools offer exceptional educational experiences due to having great teachers and abundant resources.
Cons of a Faith School
1. Faith schools rarely admit students of other faiths. They prioritize children who practice the institution’s religion over those who don’t.
2. Some Faith schools expect families to contribute financially to the growth of the religious organization that runs the school. As a criterion for enrolling their child, some institutions necessitate financial contributions from parents and carers.
3. Faith school encourages segregation. It facilitates discrimination and divisiveness.
4. Faith schools sometimes put too much pressure on the children to achieve high academic success. Faith schools often push their students beyond personal capabilities to maintain their long-standing reputation for academic excellence.
5. Students’ scope of knowledge is limited to all they learn at home and in school. Since they don’t get the chance to mix with children from other circles, they only know what they are taught by their parents and their teachers, which is always from the same point of view.
6. In cases where religion clashes with science, religion always prevails, even when it might be wrong. Faith schools base all of their activities and beliefs on the teachings of their religion.
7. Children don’t get proper sex education, as abstinence until marriage is usually the only concept taught. As important as sex education is for the young ones, Faith schools see it as polluting their minds, so they prefer to not teach them about it but instead advise them to abstain till they get married.
In conclusion, Faith schools have a lot of features that some parents consider as advantages for their children. In contrast, others see them as impediments to – harmony, social cohesion, diversity, togetherness, and a sense of community.