In Britain, families go to church so kids can go to school

The lack of decent state-run schools and the high cost of private education are driving families to church schools.

By Mark Rice-Oxley
The Christian Science Monitor

LONDON – Church was never a big part of Maria Allen's life. She used to go as a child, but lapsed as a teenager. All through university and her 20s, she rarely gave it a second thought. She was a regular worshiper, she quips: once a year, at Christmas.
Then, she had a daughter, and things changed. Ms. Allen didn't suddenly find God. She suddenly found Britain's school system. And that presented a problem. She lives in a part of London that is short on decent schools. The best were either too far away or too expensive. The rest were poor. All except for one: a church school, right on the doorstep, with an excellent reputation. But to stand a chance of getting in, you have to go to church.
"We started going about two years ago, when my daughter was about 2 years old," says Allen, who says she quickly came to enjoy the community of St. Mary Abbots in London's Kensington district. "There are only a few good schools round here, and while state school education can be very good, it can also be very bad, and no one is going to take a risk with their child."

Allen says she has few qualms about her pragmatism, though she nevertheless requested a pseudonym for this article. She believes she is far from alone. The quality of education being offered at British schools is highly variable, and many parents, particularly among the middle classes, will do whatever it takes to secure the best place for their child.

A recent survey by the ICM polling institute found that 44 percent of parents were prepared to use underhanded tactics to get their child into a good school; 12 percent said they would embellish their religious credentials to help their child - this in a country where active worship has declined precipitously in the past 50 years.

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norseman said...

In this country the same holds for emergency aid. Most public agencies use churches, and Salvation Army funds for aid as all other funding sources have been reduced to the point that there is no other funding.

Self-fulling Patriot said...

Sound this type of funding be handled by the churchs? Afterall, we are talking about a moral issue. There is nothing in the Constitution that says it's up to me to fork over my hard earned income via the tax system to pick the tab for someone elses hardships (at best), lack of planning or laziness. In addition, there isn't anything that says it's the government's job to cover people's asses for the above mentioned.

You people our hear love to argue against Big Brother, but you want Big Mother. Go figure. And trying figuring it out with your own checkbook and keep you bleeding hearts out of mine.

AndyRand said...

The biggest asses being covered are those of the the Chicken Hawk, War Profiteers like Chaney. He's had his fingers in my wallet exponentially more than those with real hardships.
I'm sick of hearing about "The Nanny State". This should be a government of , for and by the people, not me, myself and I.
The message of help the greedy and bite the needy died last week. R.I.P.........

norseman said...

self-fulling patriot;
Based on your reply, I question if you go to church, and if you do, do you actually listen? Or is MONEY YOUR CHURCH.
When speaking of the Constitution, read it again, along with the Declaration of Independence.
Historically this country had been compassionate, and was founded as an inclusive, and not an exclusive nation. As with any country, it has been and will continue to be transitional. But what makes it work is that compassion that you so vehemently hate.
I and many users on this Blog activley participate in fund-raising organizations that do help people in need, without relying on taxes. You, I would guess, participate in organizations such as "KKK" or Aryan Nations...fly those Stars and Bars high!!

SFP said...


I don't go to church period. That's my point. I don't buy your bleeding heart crap and I don't mind saying it. If you feel so strongly about supporting the Nanny State, then send in extra money with your taxes, give more to your church, fill un the red kettle at X-mas and dump your change into the Ronald McDonald fund. Don't moralize to me about your pansy ass charity crap. That's your business and the business of the state is not to separate me from my money to pay for you Christian idealism.

Sorry if you can understand that not everybody buys into you helping hand socialism.

candyass said...

Stars and bars?!?!
They only fly that in Stonepine as a sendoff to Dr. of liberty - Bill. I remember his conflictions, supporting the red cross, yet ripping those in need, except when his buddies in Mississippi and Texas were hit with katrina. Then he was all tears and tissues. The biggest national weather disaster in recent memory and he still defended our governments lack of action and accountability. This is the heart of the issue. The "we can do better" crowd will say no to any referendum in an attempt to starve the district. They have the govt squeezing on one end and the thier constant harrassment on the other. Great vision... Good thing the community understands the growth is real and the new school is needed.
How come some of the biggest local complainers about govt. taking their money actually don't make much money? Some live off of spousal income. Some that complain the most about the teacher spouses cadilac health plans are actually enjoying the union benefits of thier own spouses?? Interesting.

Bob Cratchit said...

Self-fulling Patriot, You have much in common with my employer.

From "A Christmas Carol":

`At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge,' .......`it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and Destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir.'

`Are there no prisons?' asked Scrooge.


`If they would rather die,' said Scrooge, `they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population."

`It's not my business,' Scrooge returned. `It's enough for a man to understand his own business, and not to interfere with other people's. Mine occupies me constantly. Good afternoon, gentlemen!'

norseman said...

I do support the state with my taxes as a member of this society. I, as most people, expect our government to use our money wisely. If I'm a "Bleeding Hart", so be it, I'm proud of that compliment.
As for you sfp, I pity you, and will pray for you. If at some time, you slid down that slippery financial slope, I would also help you in whatever way I could.
As for church; try it..try it...I say, you may like it....you may......YOU MAY LIKE CHURCH I SAY.......Merry Christmas to you, and "MAY GOD BLESS YOU".......

SFP said...

No Man:

Why is it you clowns over here can't take it when taxpaying citizens of Hudson question the spending of the school district? It would seem to be my right to do this. But evidently, questioning the amount of money spent on government schools, how it is allocated, the return we are getting on investment, the salaries and benefits paid to teachers and anything related to WEAC or the teachers unions are sacred cows of which nobody can have a beef about. You chior boys are only happy when everybody sings the song you want to hear. Anything else and you put you hands over your ears and have a tantrum.

firing back said...

Questioning expenditures that may be out of line is one thing. Making a profession of badgering the School Board is another.
The OTBL Circus ringleaders fall into the latter category.

You are not a Patriot:


Patriot:one who loves his or her country and supports its authority and interests.

SFP said...

Firing Baloney:

Some this would mean that anyone who opposes the Bush administration (authority)and the goals of big business to expand our nation's business interests and slaps a flag decal or support the troops ribbon on their bumper is a patriot. It's an interesting but simple-mind definetion that you have concerning what a patriot is. That explains a great deal of what I read on this blog.

firing back said...

So what is a patriot to you. Someone who goes around trying to demolish public institutions so they can be privatized. So a select few can profit and provide quality education for the offspring of the select few and not the populace at large. NOT A PATRIOT IN MY BOOK.

Besides you're one who loves simplicity.
You take the entire demographic study and throw it out the window by asking how many student/classroom.
It's much more complex than that and you know it. That's like saying your family is underutilizing the bathroom because at any given time there are more people in the kitchen. Rediculous.
No institution has 100% utilization.
Take the airlines. Is every plane full?

firing back said...

Self Flatulating Patriot:

Maybe you can e-mail the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary and tell them that they've defined Patriot incorrectly and you have a more appropriate definition. Like you have a more accurate cost/pupil figure than the official one.

It must be great! If you don't like agreed upon facts... just make up your own.

SFP said...

Firing Baloney:

So I'm just supposed to take what the authorities say as gospel. That's funny coming from you looney liberals like yourself. You've been attacking the Republcians since 2000 because they support what our President tells us. Evidently, it's only you people that are qualified to asked the questions around here. I don't buy that...