Education

U.K. Government Threatens to Shut Down Religious Schools For Not Promoting Tolerance Aggressively Enough

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The government body responsible for school inspections in the U.K. (Ofsted) has warned an independent Christian school that it risks being downgraded, and ultimately closed, for failing to meet new "British values" requirements.

The new requirements were introduced in June, following a "Trojan Horse scandal" involving the alleged infiltration of Islamic extremists in a number of Birmingham schools. The requirements attempt to combat extremism by promoting "British values" such as individual liberty, tolerance, and diversity. However, it now appears they are being used to interfere with the faith-based ethos of British private schools. From The Telegraph:

New rules intended to combat extremism are already having "disturbing consequences" for religious schools and forcing Ofsted inspectors to act in a way which undermines their ethos…

In the latest case inspectors are understood to have warned the head that the school, which was previously rated as "good," that it would be downgraded to "adequate" for failing to meet standards requiring it to "actively promote" harmony between different faiths because it had failed to bring in representatives from other religions.

They warned that unless the school could demonstrate how it was going to meet the new requirements there would be a further full inspection which could ultimately lead to it being closed.

This is not just a problem faced by Christian schools. Again from The Telegraph:

It follows complaints from orthodox Jewish schools about recent inspections in which girls from strict traditional backgrounds were allegedly asked whether they were being taught enough about lesbianism, whether they had boyfriends and if they knew where babies came from.

Promoting tolerance and diversity is a noble goal for any education system. But the top-down imposition of these values by the British government is a clear infringement on people's right to choose how their children are educated. The very existence of a government body responsible for inspecting and regulating private schools assumes that bureaucrats should be empowered to overrule parents, a troubling implication considering the government's track record of running schools into the ground.

As debate ramps up over the Common Core education standards, Americans should watch closely what can happen when control over schools is handed over to a centralized authority.

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  1. “Promoting tolerance and diversity is a noble goal for any education system.”

    Depending on what you’re expected to tolerate or how you define “diversity”, yes.

    1. silly me, I thought educating kids was a noble goal, THE noble goal, for an education system.

    2. “Promoting tolerance and diversity” is nowhere near any goals or objectives that taxpayers should be getting for the money they put into education.

      The standards that the school violated? Apparently, they didn’t allow an imam to come speak. At a private Christian school. In a country that still has a state religion: the (Christian) Church of England.

  2. Death camps of tolerance.

  3. Something tells me Diversity Inc. doesn’t bother the madrassas much.

  4. Promoting tolerance and diversity is a noble goal for any education system

    Bull

    Shit

    A noble goal for any education system it to graduate students with a 100% literacy rate. A noble goal is to equip students with skills required to make ends meet when living paycheck to paycheck. A noble goal is to graduate students able to learn new things without having their hand held by a teacher.

    Tolerance and diversity? Solely the domain of the family.

    1. The noble goal of public education has always been the creation of easily manipulated drones.

  5. So will the Test Act return?

  6. “Clearly this government overreach just emphasizes that we should focus on the evils of mass immigration!”-UKIP

    1. Europe, pinnacle of democracy, where you can choose between the racist, xenophobic socialists or the internationalist socialists.

    2. UKIP on education:

      ? UKIP will introduce an option for students to take an Apprenticeship Qualification instead of four non-core GCSEs which can be continued at A-Level. Students can take up apprenticeships in jobs with certified professionals qualified to grade the progress of the student.

      ? Subject to academic performance UKIP will remove tuition fees for students taking approved degrees in science, medicine, technology, engineering, maths on the condition that they live, work and pay tax in the UK for five years after the completion of their degrees.

      ? UKIP will scrap the target of 50% of school leavers going to university.

      ? Students from the EU will pay the same student fee rates as International students.

      ? UKIP supports the principle of Free Schools that are open to the whole community and uphold British values.

      ? Existing schools will be allowed to apply to become grammar schools and select according to ability and aptitude. Selection ages will be flexible and determined by the school in consultation with the local authority.

      ? Schools will be investigated by OFSTED on the presentation of a petition to the Department for Education signed by 25% of parents or governors.

      I hope you can direct me to a dog-whistle to regular English primer, so that I can start translating this to the horrible racism that it no doubt is.

      1. Maybe you should look at their previous immigration proposals, which once (still?) seriously includes a 5-year immigration moratorium.

        1. Which is racist how?

          It appears to apply to French, Irish, Polish, Italians, etc.

  7. You Know Who Else wanted to ensure British schools taught the proper religious views? I guess the Tories and LibDems are returning to their roots.

    1. Cardinal Wolsey?

  8. Hmm. Britain.

    1) Shocker.

    2) Don’t care. Not my country. This is why we fucking kicked them out ~240 years ago.

    NEXT!

    1. you act as though this sort of thing would not happen in the US.

      1. It would be much harder for the feds to do something like this.

        1. Common Core.

          1. I think states have a choice on using common core.

            The feds can force schools to starve fat kids and do some other things, though.

            1. I think states have a choice on using common core.

              Same way they had a choice about raising the drinking age. He who pays the piper calls the tune. States are way too addicted to that federal cash spigot to reverse course now.

              1. No they’re not. The feds can’t keep shovelling the dough, and the states can’t afford to pay up for their end of the deal. CC is failing politically.

  9. Failure to comply with mandatory toleration will not be tolerated.

    1. Intolerance is intolerable, ProL. Now say that 10 times fast.

      1. I have this weird version of “Guantanamera” in my head, with “Intoleration” instead of Guantanamera. How did that happen?

        1. I don’t know, anyone normal would have thought of Rod Stewart’s “Infatuation” and replaced “infatuation” with “intoleration”. But, after all, you are a lawyer and therefore not normal. Or even human.

          1. Not some show tune? I don’t believe you.

  10. Do they bake wedding cakes in home ec?

  11. Promoting tolerance and diversity is a noble goal for any education system.

    Yeah, a noble goal which would indicate to me that homeschooling is the better choice. I don’t want my kids to tolerate and accept other cultures or attitudes or anything that happens to dovetail with the cultural Marxists; I want them to respect others for their humanity: their life, liberty and property.

    Teaching tolerance and diversity is a Trojan Horse for accepting people’s sense of entitlement.

    1. tolerance has always been about acceptance.

  12. Oh, blessed me. I do believe they forgot to mention that one peaceful, tolerant religion.

  13. “This is not just a problem faced by Christian schools”

    NO. SHIT.

    “….standards requiring it to “actively promote” harmony between different faiths because it had failed to bring in representatives from other religions.”
    Really? Who else?

    It follows complaints from orthodox Jewish schools..

    And then what happened?!

    “…were allegedly asked whether they were being taught enough about lesbianism, whether they had boyfriends and if they knew where babies came from.”

    Point, missed.

  14. I thought the British didn’t want to bring back the penal laws?

  15. Do these schools get govt subsidies? If so, that doesn’t justify ramming the multi-culti agenda down their throats, but govt subsidies can be a bit of a Trojan Horse.

  16. Funny, but I bet the ‘British Values’ inspectors aren’t, despite this ostensibly being the reason for their existence, doing a lot of investigating the islam religious schools.

    1. Bait and switch!

      “Dreadfully sorry, rabbi, but we have to show the voters we’re serious about cracking down on religious extremism.”

      1. Listen, if the Islamists can’t get their pony, ain’t nobody getting their pony.

  17. The sun is setting on the British Empire.

    1. OT, but speaking of empires, name the year:

      “The policy of isolation is dead,” the Washington Post declared. “A new consciousness seems to have come upon us-the consciousness of strength, and with it a new appetite, a yearning to show our strength. . . . The taste of empire is in the mouth of the people.”

        1. 1898

          1. Damn. I was hoping it was 9/11 era Krauthammer or something.

            1. This was back before the word empire became a pejorative. It was a piece of fawning adoration from WaPo gleefully slobbering on Cleveland’s knob for taking it to the dirty Spaniards.

              1. Cleveland? Don’t you mean McKinley?

                1. Yeah, pretty sure that Cleveland opposed the Spanish-American War and was active in the American Anti-Imperialist League.

    2. That sun set long ago. Divested powers was the last ebbing of its light. Now, they are the harbinger of our destruction through social devolution.

  18. Western Democracies are going to end up with a creepy tyranny of Nice People. Like that Twilight Zone episode where the kid sends people into the cornfield.

    1. You’re a bad man! You’re a very bad man!

  19. The best part of this is that British Conservatives pushed for these rules because of their deep unyielding terror of the Muslim Menace and the rules are now being used against their own schools.

    Thank God American conservatives aren’t stupid enough to agitate in favor of rules which will one day be used to destroy them! Thank. God.

    1. It is a problem of myopia rather than stupidity, I’m afraid. If society’s problems were down to stupidity, I would be very happy. Unfortunately, if conservatives were less myopic they wouldn’t be conservative — or for that matter, be busy getting their asses kicked by progressives in most every political fight of importance in the 20th Century.

      1. Yes, they have failed to stop the progressives from convincing people to vote to give themselves free shit.

    2. Thank God American conservatives aren’t stupid enough to agitate in favor of rules which will one day be used to destroy them! Thank. God.

      Thank goodness the Libertarians know better…oh wait.

      1. Promoting tolerance and diversity is a noble goal for any education system.

        I’m sure that will never be used against libertarians.

      2. We always know better.

        I’m sure that will never be used against libertarians.

        Maybe. So what?

        1. We always know better.

          Except for Welch, Suderman and Chapman…

        2. So you’re a useful idiot.

          Oh but you have your precious principles intact. The totalitarians appreciate that about you. It’s why they’ll kill you last (or maybe not).

  20. “Promoting tolerance and diversity is a noble goal for any education system.”

    Nonsense, it is a goal (whether noble or not is up for debate) for a religious or philosophical system, not an education system. The fact that this thought can be entertained — much less go unquestioned — everywhere one looks is part of the problem that our education system has (and our culture, for that matter).

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