In London's glamourous borough of High Barnet, many parents I meet are tired of religious discrimination in schools, and yet few will take action. The landscape is clear. Most primary schools in this borough are faith-based, and the number is due to rise. Te C of E have their eye on every school bid in the borough and deep enough pockets to clinch them. Foulds, Christchurch, St Catherine's... the most reputed schools come with a Bible attached.
And yet there is hope. A fool's hope, as Gandalf might say. In a borough of shamelessly discriminatory and brutally competitive schools, a group of parents is beginning to form. They are educated people, many with scientific training, who are tired of having to compromise between quality education and Humanist or secularist values. Or in layman' terms, having to lie. Pretend you are a good, God-fearing Catholic - goes the all-too-familiar supplementary information form, the Faustian bargain with the selective primary school- and salvation is on offer. You too can have a taxpayer-funded, star-studded, Ofsted-beloved school for your brat.
What most parents don't know is that discrimination against nonreligious parents (i.e. a Schools application supplementary form which goes to a priest and doesn't even give a nonreligious option like the one posted above, is illegal. It's a breach of OSA standards, and can get the school into a lot of hot water.
So why don't more schools end this? Because nobody makes a complaint.
Please take action.
If you know of a school which does this and you are a parent, or even aunt or uncle, make your complaint against the local offenders. Or at least talk to parents about this. And please use this letter, and send it to OSA.
January is coming. The geese are getting fat, and so are Churches. Oppose primary school discrimination by 3-year-olds' belief system. It's wrong.