Letter: Church hypocrisy

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The Independent Online
From Mr Martin Foley

Sir: Polly Toynbee is right to attack the hold the church has over so many of our schools ("Keeping God out of the classroom", 14 February), particularly its "subtle selection" which operates at school entrance time.

It is common practice for non-believing parents, who choose a church school on the basis of its educational record, to claim a religious commitment they do not possess and thus jump the queue for a popular school.

In some cases, a few sessions at Sunday school will ensure the local vicar's signature on their application form. It seems the church is prepared to encourage this hypocrisy by knowingly signing such false applications.

Devout, church-going parents do not need schools to teach religious values to their children. This surely happens at home. The church has an unnecessary influence in our schools and seems prepared to countenance hypocrisy and lies to maintain its position.

Yours faithfully,

Martin Foley

Guildford, Surrey

15 February