Schools Leave Christianity in the Wilderness |

TBC Staff

Schools leave Christianity in the wilderness [Excerpts]

Jack Grimston

Schools have been accused of ignoring the views of their Christian pupils while paying careful attention to children of other faiths.

According to Ofsted, the schools inspectorate, teachers are failing to educate children in the core beliefs of Christianity, ignoring their legal obligation to do so.

An Ofsted report released today says stories from the Bible are often used simply to teach children about their feelings or about how to empathise with the sick, but their religious significance is neglected.

Critics argue that too many teachers are both ignorant and embarrassed about Christianity and are frightened of causing tension in multi-faith schools.

However, supporters of the approach identified by Ofsted argue that teachers are simply reflecting the secular views prevalent in society.

Michael Nazir-Ali, the former Bishop of Rochester, said: “There is generally in the culture a kind of embarrassment about talking openly about Christianity that doesn’t apply to other faiths.”

The teaching of religion has become increasingly fraught. Last year, a primary school teacher from Tower Hamlets, east London, claimed he had been forced out of his job because he had complained to his headmistress about an anti-Christian bias among pupils.

Some had allegedly praised the September 11 hijackers, while one boy had said he was glad about the death of a lawyer who had been stabbed “because he’s a Christian”.

Schools are obliged to teach religion, although it is not part of the national curriculum. Lessons are also supposed to reflect the fact that Christianity is the main religion in Britain, while taking account of the other leading faiths.

(Grimston, “Schools leave Christianity in the wilderness,” Sunday Times Online, June 6, 2010).