Monday, December 18, 2006

Vardy's Untruths...

Peter Vardy here says: "It is emphatically not a fundamentalist school, and welcomes pupils and staff of all faiths, and none."

And here he says: "We do hire Christian headteachers. As all our schools have a strong Christian ethos it would be difficult to see how we could operate with a principle of a different faith."

I wonder which one we should believe...

With Friends Like These...

Des Smith, a Catholic headmaster caught up in the cash-for-peerages scandal, has called for Tony Blair to be treated in the same way that he was, as is reported here.

Whilst he might be more than entitled to think that "a cosy chat with Tony Blair at Chequers simply will not do," and in an entirely fair world his statement that "My experience was dehumanising and designed to reduce me to bare essentials. The Prime Minister must be treated in the same way." would be a reasonable guide to action that should be taken, one cannot help but wonder what sorts of people the Government thought they were dealing with.

After all, if you're going to give special privileges to faith groups, and do your best to promote a radical faith agenda, you would hope that those who benefit most from it would not call for your being treated in a dehumanising way, designed to reduce you to bare essentials. Whatever that might mean...

PS - It's also notable that rather than calling for a revision of police procedures, so that other people avoided the treatment he got, Des' main concern is to ensure that everyone else gets screwed as royally as him. That is Christianity in action.

No More Faith Schools, Say Headteachers

In contrast with the article below, this one, which appeared in the same newspaper on the same day, comes to the opposite conclusions.

Only 9% of headteachers agree with the Prime Minister that there should be more faith schools. One wonders why this did not interest Martin Wainwright as much as the talk of 'lizards' and the opening of doors at King's.

In An Ideal World...

This is a fawning, uncritical portrait of Peter Vardy by Martin Wainwright, the Guardian's Northern editor. Every serious question is elided or dodged, and the article is not comprehensive enough to provide any real security of mind. Naturally, the fundamental questions about whether a religious school should receive state funding are not even addressed.

*Edit* And let's not forget this: "Last year, as part of a wider investigation, the Guardian revealed that the number of children eligible for free school meals at Kings, the standard indicator of deprivation, had dropped by more than 100 compared with the school it replaced, leading to renewed claims that it was cherry-picking pupils who were easier to teach."

Saturday, December 16, 2006

What It Looks Like From Over There

Here is an interview with Sir Peter Vardy. I give it to you without comment...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006