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Last Updated: Monday, 24 March 2008, 15:05 GMT
Delegates' views on faith schools
A teaching union is urging schools to offer pupils instruction in whatever faith they like as a way of promoting community cohesion and ending the need for faith schools.

The BBC News website asked delegates at the National Union of Teachers Conference in Manchester what they thought of the plans.

ELIZABETH TAYLOR, RETIRED HEAD OF A CHURCH OF ENGLAND SCHOOL, SURREY

Elizabeth Taylor

"I am aware of the important role that faith schools have played in the development of education in Britain, but in a full multi-cultural society I think they have had their day.

"We should allow existing voluntary-aided faith schools to run their course but we should not have any more."

JACQIE HITCHCOCK, RETIRED TEACHER FROM KENT

Jacqie Hitchcock

"I think it would be difficult to allow children religious instruction in schools because it would lead to segregation.

"In this day and age, some children will pick on any difference as an excuse for bullying.

"Faith schools do have a place in education, my grandchildren go to them, and they are all taught in exactly the same way as other children."

EMILY FORSTER, TEACHER FROM MORECAMBE, LANCASHIRE

Emily Forster

"I would like to see faith schools abolished.

"We are trying to foster, as a society, tolerance in children and multi-culturalism, but we have in our education system a fundamental principle that allows schools to discriminate on the basis of religion."

WENDY SMILLIE, SUPPLY TEACHER FROM LANCASTER

"I think it's a good idea. I would support the union in that. It perhaps makes us more tolerant of other people's faiths. When you keep children of different religions separate they don't learn about other faiths."

SAM UDDIN, SECONDARY SCHOOL TEACHER FROM MORECAMBE

Sam Uddin

"It's part of a much wider debate on encouraging all schools to be fully comprehensive and reducing the opportunity for some schools to have the chance to be selective.

"Selection on the basis of faith is saying that because we think this faith is the one, we are rejecting other faiths."



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