Labour Humanists exec member has just had this letter published in The Times:
Sir, The tone and content of your leading article ("School for scandal",
Jan 12) were strangely at odds with the facts presented on the front page
("Backlash as more claim religion to get place in top schools", Jan 12).
There is a plenty of statistical research published by the British Humanist
Association and others showing that religious schools perform no better
than non-religious schools when key poverty indicators such as free school
meals are taken into account. In the unlikely event that religious schools
have access to some great educational secret, let them share this with all
schools. Anecdotal evidence from Ofsted inspectors suggests that, far from
being beacons of educational excellence, many of these schools are merely
riding on the coat-tails of middle-class extracurricular activities.
Children are born neither religious nor political. No one would seriously
consider establishing Conservative or vegetarian schools. Society
acknowledges that political institutions want control in order to deliver
the type of world that they believe in. Religious institutions are no
different, and their privileged access to young minds distorts current and
future society in a way that is no longer tolerable or desirable.
Dr Julia Mundy