A recent article by Andrew Penman in The Independent highlights some of the issues faced by parents when choosing a school for their children. Since writing his book School Daze: Searching for Decent State Education Penman claims he has suffered abuse and vilification. The primary focus for this opprobrium appears to be focused upon the steps he took to ensure his children attended their local primary school.
Many may sympathise with Andrew Penman’s desire to gain the best state education possible for his children, however, it is the method he chose which appears to invite criticism. An atheist, Andrew Penman freely admits that he attended his local church service purely in order to gain a place at his local primary school. Despite the condemnation, Penman remains unrepentant, insisting that ‘[i]f churches do not want bogus Christians coming through their doors there’s a simple solution: stop using religion as a criteria for admission to state schools’.
Although, Andrew Penman may be convinced of his motivation and actions, there are still many ongoing discussions as to the role of religion within schools, as well as wider educational debates with regard to fair admissions criteria.
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