Poor little mites, only 30 places for them

Big excitement: another religious state school is opening in Leicester, a Hindu one modeled on another in Harrow (London). Hooray hooray, even though there are people who think Not hooray hooray.

It, like other faith school proposals for “free” schools, has its opponents, those that think the plethora of religious schools being opened under the Gove initiative will destroy community cohesion and increase segregation on racial and religious grounds among pupils.

And that that’s not something the state should be fostering and funding. What’s the other view, exactly? I can never quite figure it out. That it will do those things but those are good things to do? Or that it won’t do those things? Either one seems…feeble.

The programme is intended to overcome the situation whereby there are a million Hindus in the UK but only 30 Hindu primary school places a year for them.

But there you are, you see, that’s just it: what does that mean, “for them”? Nothing, basically. You might think (if you were a na├»ve observer) it meant the children of Hindus are barred from all UK schools apart from a selected 30. But of course that’s not the case: the children of Hindu parents like the children of any other parents can attend state schools. The “for them” implies that children of Hindu parents perhaps “need” to attend specifically Hindu schools, even though parts of the article put that very idea into question. It’s a goofy, retrograde, sloppy idea that’s been coming into vogue in recent years, and people should toughen up and get rid of it. Children don’t “need” to go to any kind of denominational school, and assuming they do does indeed push them into religious and sometimes ethnic segregation. Get over it.

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