Nigel’s response to my letter is just underneath my response to his response.
Dear Mr Huddlestone
Thank you for responding. I hope to change your mind eventually because we really have no real alternative.
However, once again you miss my point entirely.
The very existence of “faith” (i.e. irrational) schools is divisive and it has to be up to government to force the change.
Government seems set on actively, but blindly, promoting a path of societal division and is ignoring its duty to keep us all safe.
Current government action is largely pointless and your “active promotion” is worthless and ignored.
We already see the first results of this in Birmingham and so many other places.
However, I realise that you fear lost votes; I can see no other reason for your inaction.
Yours in despair, yet with a modicum of hope in Boris and Brexit by 31st October.
Dear Mr RuskinThank you for contacting me about secularism.I appreciate the concerns of the UK’s secular community, particularly regarding extremism in schools and the importance of free speech for both religious and non-religious people. Please let me assure you that I remain committed to working towards a society in which all citizens, regardless of whatever their individual beliefs are, can live together fairly and cohesively.During inspections, Ofsted inspectors ask questions that probe whether pupils are prepared for the next stage in their education and life in modern Britain, using age-appropriate questions to check children’s understanding and tolerance of different lifestyles.All schools are now expected to “actively promote” British values, which were defined in 2011 as democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. Teaching respect for other people, even if you do not agree with them or their way of life, is a fundamental part of preparation for life in Britain, and a principle all schools should be able to support.On the issue of Anglican schools, I can understand why some secular families might not wish to send their children to faith schools. However, many families of all denominations and none remain keen to send their children to faith schools. As such, I welcome the Government’s wide ranging education reforms which are raising school standards across the country, and allow parents, both secular and religious, greater choice of good schools in which to educate their children.Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.Kind regardsNigelNigel Huddleston MPMember of Parliament for Mid WorcestershireVice Chairman of the Conservative Party