"We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Abolish all faith schools and prohibit the teaching of creationism and other religious mythology in all UK schools."
Details of Petition:
"Faith schools remove the rights of children to choose their own religious, philosophical and ethical beliefs. They also sanction ethnic segregation and create tension and divisiveness within society. Schools should be places where children are given a free education, not centres for indoctrination. Creationism and other religious myths should not be taught as fact regardless of the funding status of a school. Abolishing faith schools will provide children with more freedom of choice and help to promote a fully multi-cultural, peaceful society."
This is the Government's official response, posted on pm.gov.uk website:
The Government remains committed to a diverse range of schools for parents to choose from, including schools with a religious character or "faith schools" as they are commonly known.
Religious Education (RE) in all schools, including faith schools, is aimed at developing pupils' knowledge, understanding and awareness of the major religions represented in the country. It encourages respect for those holding different beliefs and helps promote pupils' moral, cultural and mental development. In partnership with national faith and belief organisations we have introduced a national framework for RE.
In February 2006, the faith communities affirmed their support for the framework in a joint statement making it clear that all children should be given the opportunity to receive inclusive religious education, and that they are committed to making sure the framework is used in the development of religious education in all their schools and colleges.
The Churches have a long history of providing education in this country and have confirmed their commitment to community cohesion. Faith schools have an excellent record in providing high-quality education and serving disadvantaged communities and are some of the most ethnically and socially diverse in the country. Many parents who are not members of a particular faith value the structured environment provided by schools with a religious character.
Did I expect anything else? Not really - I know how our Government works.
Did I hope for anything else? Yes. I had hoped, rather futiley, that they would pay attention. Apparently they did not.
I am not surprised.