LETTER : Continuing value of religious education in our schools

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The Independent Online
From Ms Mary Clarkson

Sir: We do not have Canterbury, Rome, Mecca or any other form of religious education "on the rates" as Polly Toynbee asserts . On the contrary: religious bodies provide a proportion of the funding for religious schools, often owning the land on which they are built and paying for the upkeep of their buildings. The denominations are, therefore, making a significant contribution to state education for both believers and for the non-believers who choose to attend these schools.

Polly Toynbee is also wrong to suggest that Church schools are middle class. The parishes to which the schools are attached are found in working- class areas as much as in middle class suburbs.

Indeed, writing as a governor of a Catholic primary school in Oxford, I know that most Catholic schools draw on a more diverse population, both culturally and economically, than many secular "neighbourhood" schools.

Yours faithfully,

Mary Clarkson

Oxford

14 February

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