All the best to Andrew Copson and the team in the high court right now:
The case is the first legal challenge to new schools over religious discrimination and gets straight to the heart of the faith schools debate. But we also believe that the schools were proposed without consideration of other proposals; under new legislation, a local authority must invite competition, with preference given to academies. Richmond council, however, says it has considered its obligations under the law and the government has also intervened to support Richmond’s position. It is now for the high court to decide in a judicial review.
Writing A Lack of Faith in Religious Schools I made the comment:
To put in perspective no one would say of Socialist parents that their child is a socialist child. There is no school of Socialist character where children in addition to learning the National Curriculum learn about the great traditions of the Labour Party, the leaders and policy through the ages. A mention is made of other political parties and philosophy but the school reflects the foundation of a mainstream political philosophy.
We would be aghast at children going to such a school, let alone one existing. Children are too young to choose such political ideology. Partisan politics is something kept out of the classroom. Yet we treat religion very differently.
I wish them well. Talking to Andrew earlier we both agreed the lack of competition in the proposed setting up of the two schools could be the key issue in the review.
Photo from @andrewcopson (third from the right) twitter feed just before going into court.
UPDATE 16/11/2012: on the second day the case was dismissed, and we await the judgment setting out why in two weeks
BHA Chief Executive Andrew Copson commented, ‘We are disappointed that our case was dismissed and when we have the full judgement we will certainly consider whether to appeal. We still believe – in common with the vast majority of the British public – that it is wrong to set up new state-funded schools that discriminate against children based on their parents’ religion. It is also wrong for religious schools to receive preferential treatment in setting up, over and above inclusive schools.’
Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog