Church school pupils will need baptism certificate to board school bus

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In what is thought to be the first move of its kind in the country, children in Flintshire, north Wales whose parents are non-believers will be denied free transport to school.

Parents and Roman Catholic priests in the area have united to accuse the council, which is making cuts, of discrimination against people without religious faith.

It comes in stark contrast with controversy elsewhere in the UK where councils have scrapped subsidised travel to faith schools – worth around £500 a year per child – across the board.

In such cases councils have been accused of introducing a “tax on religion” and discriminating against people of faith.

But in Flintshire, the council proposes to single out parents who do not profess religious faith but want their child to benefit from education in a church school.

Under the proposal, due to come into force next year, children would have to produce a baptism certificate, a letter from a priest or other “suitable evidence of adherence to the faith of the school”.

Written By: John Bingham
continue to source article at telegraph.co.uk

26 COMMENTS

  1. This reminds me of that story from a year or so ago about the schools in Indonesia that were offering food and money to parents to mutilate their daughters. Difference of degree, obviously, but the principle of religious coercion behind it seems to be the same.

  2. I am fairly sure that is akin to wearing a star of David in a ghetto…what makes a council lose such contact with reality?…it is blatant if the school does not demand it why should a bus service?

    absolutely barkin’

    • In reply to #7 by N_Ellis:

      Astonished to hear that Catholic priests are protesting against the measure. Its nice to know that they are doing something right for once

      How else are they going to get a chance to indoctrinate the kids? It’s in their own interests to get them in to their faith school so they can fill their heads with nonsense. Otherwise, horror of horrors, they’ll go to a non-denominational school and not get their daily fill of Jebus…

  3. England, Scotland and Wales http://www.ecu.ac.uk/law/religion-and-belief-key-legislation

    The Equality Act 2010 provides protection against discrimination, harassment and victimisation on the grounds of religion or belief.

    In the provision of goods, facilities and services, the Act prohibits discrimination and victimisation but not harassment because of religion or belief. However, many of the actions that may be considered as acts of harassment may also be considered acts of direct discrimination, for which there is protection.

    The definitions of religion and belief are:

    • religion – any religion or reference to religion, including a reference to a lack of religion
    • belief – any religious or philosophical belief or reference to belief, including a reference to a lack of belief

    Religion or belief should be taken to mean the full diversity of religious and belief affiliations within the UK, including non-religious and philosophical beliefs such as atheism, agnosticism and humanism.

    It looks like this discrimination in provision of services is illegal!

  4. If a hard decision has to be made about bussing children to school, introduce a low busfare for all schoolchildren in the affected area. Why single out unbelievers or believers in this or that?

    In New Zealand, where I live, schoolchildren pay $1.10 per bustrip (or $1.05 per bustrip with concession card) as a matter of course. At present $1.00 = £0.55. No big deal and quite straightforward.

  5. As Alan4Discussion has pointed out, this is discrimination pure and simple. The Equality act 2010 is quite specific on this and the council are opening themselves up to a plethora of law suits. I’m surprised their legal advisers haven’t warned them of this.

    Many other councils have decided to get rid of this freebie, which is discrimination in favour of religion so therefore still illegal, so it’s strange that this council should try this route.

    A far better solution of course would be for the Westminster government to get rid of all faith schools.

  6. This is just more evidence for scrapping faith schools altogether. They create unnecessary division and discrimination. It’s probably illegal what Flintshire council is proposing so hopefully it won’t happen. Pathetic nonetheless.

  7. I understand that this is discrimination; but why non-believer people choose to put their children in church school ? it looks kind of strange. I should have thought that non-believers would prefer to avoid their children being influenced by priests. Is it that there is no good secular school in Great Britain ?
    By the way, I am french, so I may not understand well the english school system.

    • In reply to #21 by Richard01:

      Is this Great Britain? surely it can’t be! What a disgrace!

      If you look at the bi-lingual destination sign on the bus “SCHOOL BUS – BWS YSGOL” – you will see that this is North Wales – an area renowned for looking backwards at ancient culture and a language which has no useful applications anywhere else in the world!

  8. What a lot of ignorant comment on one story, most of of it I guess from readers from outside the UK with no understanding of how education is organised and paid for in this country, i.e. Wales – not the UK – as a result of 150+ years of controversy and compromise. The council is broke and has a general policy of only doing what the law requires it to do, which includes transporting pupils to schools owned and run by the anglican Church of Wales churches but paid for by general taxation.

    It doesn’t have to pay for non-Anglicans to get to school, so it has decided to stop doing so. The parents are free to get their child baptised, which won’t hurt the child or their parents and just might help them get to heaven if the Christians turn out, against the odds, to be right after all. Or they can takes the kids themselves. Or they can move the child to a nearer community school.

    • In reply to #24 by Chris Squire:

      What a lot of ignorant comment on one story, most of of it I guess from readers from outside the UK with no understanding of how education is organised and paid for in this country, i.e. Wales – not the UK – as a result of 150+ years of controversy and compromise. The council is broke and has a general policy of only doing what the law requires it to do, which includes transporting pupils to schools owned and run by the anglican Church of Wales churches but paid for by general taxation.

      Cherry picking which laws to apply – and accusing others of “ignorance”?

      It doesn’t have to pay for non-Anglicans to get to school, so it has decided to stop doing so.

      Really???

      Alan4discussion comment 11

      England, Scotland and Wales http://www.ecu.ac.uk/law/religion-and-belief-key-legislation

      The Equality Act 2010 provides protection against discrimination, harassment and victimisation on the grounds of religion or belief.

      It is the responsibility of the council to see that its policies meet ALL legal requirements.

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