Education involves opening children’s minds to the world

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From: JW Slack, Swinston Hill Road, Dinnington, Sheffield.

EDUCATION Minister Lord Hill (Yorkshire Post, August 2) hails the spread of free schools across the region as a sign of progress and defines such schools as “non-selective state funded schools with greater freedoms than local authority schools”.

Examples he gives are the Northern Lights Primary School in Halifax for 175 pupils with a Sunni-Islam faith ethos, the Leeds Jewish Co-educational Orthodox Jewish Secondary School for 175 pupils and the Sikh Co-educational Primary School for 210 primary pupils. How can such establishments be non-selective?

Lewis Brown (Yorkshire 
Post, July 3) makes the point regarding social mobility, that 
the idea of fairness in getting what you deserve while others think in terms of re-distribution of wealth through the 
welfare state equating with the views of the political left or 
right.

It would appear that the coalition Government is passing what should be a national education system which gives equal opportunities for all irrespective of race, creed or gender in order to bring all people together in unity but not uniformity to small groups with their own agendas.

This I find incredible and dangerous.

Education involves the 
opening of children’s minds to the world outside and to ideas regarding society and to encourage them to question deeply in order to make informed choices – including politics and religion.

For a child to be informed by dogma early in life is limiting. It is the children who need to make choices at the end of the school process and should carry on into adulthood.

The coalition should be addressing this issue urgently and ensure that schools encourage investigative minds at all levels of ability alongside the teaching of life skills.

Governments cannot be relied upon to provide funding at a consistent level, and the present proposals do not encourage a system which will help all children.

If these initiatives fail the country will be in a mess.

Older teachers will remember an old West Riding saying: “Those who can’t teach test”.