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Religious Education in Wiltshire - no Bibles allowed.

Christian father slams `one-sided' RE lessons - This Is Wiltshire

Mr Simpkins, who said Tristian had been suffering for around two years, met his son's teacher on Monday. He said after the meeting: "I think they really want me to withdraw Tristan because it's the easiest option for them.
"He would go there and disagree with what the teacher said and they probably don't want that in the class.
"He's decided to stay put because if he comes out of the syllabus he won't be able to sit the religious education GCSE. He'll study Islam to a certain point.''
Mr Simpkins said his son's lecturer once called him at home after Tristian read the Bible during a lesson. He said last Tuesday Tristian was ejected from the room when he wrote God Save The Queen on his exercise book.
"We've been having problems for some time," he said. "The whole Year 10 syllabus is Islam, Muhammad and very much one-sided. There are no Bibles in his RE lessons. They give out one book, you can't research it yourself, which I think is wrong and a lot of his class mates feel the same way. The children don't like it."


"Parents should have more of a say in what their children are taught in RE and the way they're taught it."

Why? We don't have a say in what they are taught in any other subject.

Should I be able to choose which books my son should read in English, because i don't agree with the beliefs espoused in some of them (Dickens has some pretty hard hitting political statements in his books for example)

Should I be able to tell my son's school they should only teach Creationism, as Evolution is against my beliefs?

Should I be able to tell my son's school they should not teach racial equality, as I believe that Blacks are an inferior sub-species of humanity?

The school syllabus is set. If he really feels that strongly that his son should not learn about other beliefs, he can withdraw him from RE. Or send him to a Faith scool. Or just explain his beliefs & reasons for them at home!

Methinks Mrs. Aginoth is somewhat of a statist.

If the complainant doesn't like the school for whatever reason, the remedy is to send the child to a different one.

If you can't do that, then THAT is the problem.

Having said all that, he does sound like a bit of a poisonous goody-goody, no?

OK, so the RE course being taught here is of the "comparative religion" variety not the christian one, and perhaps Tristan's Dad should have checked this before. However, if his comments are true and the only religion being studied is Islam, there's bugger all comparing going on.

Unless he's actually enrolled his son in a madrassa by mistake Tristan's dad sounds like he's got some grounds for complaint.

Since this must be a state approved and minutely monitored course I detect the paw prints of Blair's politically correct minions all over this one.


Learning about other beliefs and sugar-coating are 2 different things.

remittance Man, you should read the article again. The syllabus is Islam this year, Christain next year. In most schools they do a religion a term, so i expect he'll get others after Xmas.

Yes, I am a statist in terms of the National curriculum - it's not perfect, but I link the idea that my kids are learning the same basic syllabi as the rest of the country.

I also disagree fundementally with a number of my sons schools religious teachings, but feel that with sensible discussion & reasonable debate at home, he'll get over it.

OK so they'll get "Christianity" next year but I wonder what perspective they will put to their examination of that faith?

I get the feeling from the general tone of the article and the quates from the school staff that because Tristan is a christian, his enthusiasm for his faith is being branded as slightly nuts. I wonder how they would deal with a similar complaint from a muslim father?

I must admit I am not a devout christian, but I do find the different standards applied to the attitudes of members of different faiths a little annoying.

The Remittance Man
(Pagan, attached C of E)

Yes, I am a statist in terms of the National curriculum - it's not perfect, but I link the idea that my kids are learning the same basic syllabi as the rest of the country.

And why does it logically follow that the state alone be the arbiter of this? The state (meaning any national or regional government, in any nation) sets curricular requirements for its schools as much on the basis of political expediency as on the basis of demonstrated need for functional knowledge and skills. One example of this is the state of Hawaii's schools, in which science courses have long been "elective" at the middle and high school levels. For this reason (and many others), Hawaii's state-run schools are considered among the worst in the U.S. They also have some of the lowest attendance rates; private school enrollment on the islands is at least that of the state schools (in some localities significantly higher), since parents recognize that the state-run schools do not provide education to their children that adequately prepares them for the demands of the workplace. In this case it is clear that the state's concept of essential curricula falls short of that demanded by the realities of the marketplace, the same marketplace that ensures that if a given school is deficient in one academic subject, other schools are available to make up for this shortcoming. In other words, the markeplace will ensure that children are taught "the essentials" whether or not the state codifies these as requirements.

Personally I think RE is an out-dated subject all together, but the state hasn't caught on yet.

I am quite sure that personal beliefs & morals taught & practised at home will always outweigh theoretical academic teachings at schools, which is why I'm not too bothered that my son's school spends an inordinate amount of time praying & studying bible stories & going to church (although I can think of better ways to use their time!) However the curriculum is the curriculum and at some point you have to accept that it is set nationally by governments. He wants his son to take GCSE RE, & therefore he has to learn about a variety of religions.

So this boy was ejected from his class for writing "God Save The Queen" in his exercise book?

I don't buy that. Something fishy there. Unless of course, Teacher had checked his notes and found that scribbled down instead of what the lesson was about.

And, "Mr Simpkins said his son's lecturer once called him at home after Tristian read the Bible during a lesson."

To say what? "Well done, young Tristian is taking an interest?"

This whole story doesn't ring entirely true...

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