Our local secondary school’s gone into special measures. Grammar schools don’t work. And God doesn’t exist. So what am I going to do about our kids’ education?
I’d look into opening a free school. If I had the time. Or the money. Or the ability. Or the inner conviction that I thought free schools were a good thing for society. And while I don’t have any of these things, let’s assume I did.
Let’s assume I opened my free school.
In my better moods I call the free school,
“The Enlightened Establishment for Future Existentialists”
In my less good moods it’s called,
“God doesn’t exist”.
You can pick your favourite.
If you think God does exist, you can’t come to my school.
You will be required to bring proof you have never been to church, eaten disappointing baked goods, or had cold water splashed on your head.
Woe betide anyone smelling of incense and polish.
Alas, for the aforementioned reasons I can’t open a free school. Instead I’m pinning my hopes on the government proposals to open more Catholic schools open only to Catholics.
Not being a Catholic myself, I anticipate a few problems with this approach.
I’ve considered becoming Catholic-ish, Catholic ‘Lite’.
Last I looked though, Catholicism isn’t like the 5:2. You can’t embrace it whole heartedly for a few days and then binge guilt-free on atheism the rest of the time.
I’ve considered divorcing my husband and giving him sole custody of the kids. The husband spent 18 years religiously (!) going to Church. I don’t know though. Divorce for selfish gain? It’s not very….er….Catholic, is it?
What about Grandma? She still believes, as does much of that side of the family. Surely their input into the faith means they deserve to see their grandchildren at a school where they probably won’t get their heads kicked in and probably will get 5 GCSEs?
Maybe it doesn’t work like that. But maybe it should: if I have an Irish grandparent I can apply for EU citizenship. If I have a Catholic one I can get the kids into the good school, right?
Perhaps, worryingly, the Catholic religion requires more evidence than the passport office. Then again:
Church School “But we’ve no evidence that you have ever attended the Catholic church.”
Me “I like to think my school admission form is more about faith than evidence. It’s a belief system thing”
Worth a shot?
As a philosopher, perhaps I could argue to the Catholic school that I don’t exist and as such my Godless ways can be removed from the admissions process entirely. Admittedly, I’m not yet sure how to frame that:
Application form “All questions must be answered truthfully”
Me: “What is truth? (PS God doesn’t exist, and neither do I, so could you ignore the God comment and give my kids a good edcation? Ta).
Perhaps I should just lie my arse off. But that goes against my moral code. Yep – I don’t believe in God AND I have morals. Believe it.
With little faith in being saved by the government’s proposed revisions to faith schools, perhaps I should hold out for the re-introduction of a grammar type system.
I don’t have any faith in that either. Or even evidence that it works. Evidence. Pah? Remember that restrictive old twoddle?
I mean if we were using crazy things like evidence when it comes to addressing the problem with education in this country, we’d address the funding gap in schools, rebuild the ones that are falling down, address poverty at source so there weren’t ‘poor’ kids to blame for the poor performance stats.
We’d invest in social services rather than expecting teachers to be social workers too, celebrate and motivate teachers rather than bashing them all the time, stop using the curriculum and exam system as a political tool, ensure adequate special needs provision, and scrap the most elitist public schools.
That’s just me talking the old crazy talk though.
Division. Them. Us. Prayers.
As this educated society is allegedly on the verge of telling us, that’s the way forward.
You’ve just gotta have faith.