Monday, 31 January 2011

State schools: where “diversity” means everyone must be the same

Muslim friends of mine, a couple who fled their own country after the regime imprisoned and tortured one of them, have just removed their child from a London state school because of the pressure the kid was being put under by other pupils (almost entirely Somali Muslims) – it got so bad, he began asking his parents why they indulged in proscribed food and drink.
When they asked for a change of school, they were refused – the Muslim headmaster explained that the school was meant to be “diverse”. They pointed out that forcing everyone to think and behave in the same way isn’t what “diverse” means.

That argument didn’t work. 

They explained that, as the husband had been tortured by Muslim fundamentalists, they didn’t particularly want their boy to grow into one. 

That didn’t work either. 

Then – taking some advice from a friend who knew the system – they threatened to remove their child and have him taught at home.

That worked.

The reason it worked, apparently, is that it costs councils a fortune to supervise home teaching. So the parents’ fears about their boy being subjected to cultural indoctrination meant nothing, but having to spend extra money to police his education did (in case he was in danger, one presumes, of actually learning something, in which case he’d probably be taken into care).

My friends’ child, who is evidently very bright (the parents are extremely accomplished), is now, I am delighted to report, at a C of E church school, where he is happy, learning up a storm, and still fiercely proud of his heritage. 

Yes, that’s right – an Anglican school has provided a safe haven for the child of immigrant Muslim parents. 

I railed against moves to force Christian schools to take a certain percentage of children from other religions, on the grounds that state schools seem free to turn themselves into Madrassas without a hint of official interference. But while the move to dilute the Anglicanism of our church schools was no doubt entirely malicious, in this instance, at least, it appears to have afforded an escape route for one bright kid from the multiculturalist gauleiters who have destroyed the state system.  

On the same day I heard of these recent, heartening developments, the Chairman of the Board of Governors at St. Michael and All Angels Academy, Canon Peter Clark, blamed the decision to close his south London school on Katharine Birbalsingh. She’s the former Marxist teacher who spoke about the pernicious effects of doctrinaire left-wing teachers on the education of children in the state sector at last year’s Tory Party conference. In an act of panicky spitefulness, the school forced her to resign as Deputy Head (if she’d spoken out against the Coalition at the Labour Conference, she’d no doubt have been welcomed back with a ticker-tape reception). Her old school has had so few applications from parents wanting to send their children there, it’s no longer viable. Good! 

According to a government source, quoted by the Telegraph, the Canon was talking “complete crap”, and the school was going down the pan anyway. (The whole sorry saga, with particular attention to the role of Canon Peter Clark, can be found here.)

Ms Birbalsingh – now a reviled political apostate and class-traitor as far as the Left is concerned – is a heroine to all of us who feel that the purpose of our schools isn’t to churn out angry ignoramuses who hate their country, its history, and its institutions. Because if you teach them to be resentful “victims”, they might go on to become whining left-wing teachers – or, worse, whining leftie priests!

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