An ‘opt-in’ approach to religious instruction
Sir, – Rather than make “practical arrangements to accommodate children” whose families do not want their children to be indoctrinated, a rather obvious solution would be simply to ask families to “opt in” (“Parents finding it impossible’ to opt children out of religion education”, News, September 17th).
As a modern, pluralist society, there should be room for all faiths and none in our schools, particularly as census demographics and marriage figures have shown a consistent decline in religious affiliation and practice over many years. Failure to embrace an “opt-in” approach stems surely from a realisation by school patrons that demand for religious instruction programmes is much weaker than they would publicly like to admit.
Education Equality advocates for the provision of faith formation in all State-funded schools to be confined to a distinct period of time after core school hours, rather than permeated throughout the school day. This would put an end to segregation in the classroom and give parents a meaningful, effective choice about whether or not their children receive religious indoctrination, however it is dressed up. – Yours, etc,