Atheist Nick Clegg has been accused of ‘rank hypocrisy’ after seeking to send his three sons to one of the country’s top Catholic schools.
The Deputy Prime Minister, who has spoken of his opposition to faith schools considerably, has toured the London Oratory, the state school to which Tony Blair sent his sons (who, might I add, isn’t afraid to say that he is a Catholic).
Mr Clegg has chosen The Oratory despite the fact that there are several secondaries, including a Catholic one, close to his home in Putney, south west London.
The Oratory requires parents to prove they are actively involved in the church to get their child into the school. The practice has been roundly criticised by the Liberal Democrats for barring access to all but the wealthy who have the time to help out at church fetes. My my, something does smell a bit rank doesn’t it?
Mr Clegg’s decision contradicts his 2010 manifesto in which his party pledged to force faith schools to develop an ‘inclusive admissions policy’.
Keith Porteous Wood, of the National Secular Society, accused Mr Clegg of ‘rank hypocrisy’…
The Oratory is very exclusive. It is equivalent to sending your child to private school, on the rates.The entry criteria is so stringent that only the creme de la creme get in. As his wife Miriam is a Catholic it is understandable they would want a Catholic school. But he shouldn’t haul his children across London to go to the best. It reeks of elitism and goes against just about everything he has said about faith schools.
I’m all supportive of Faith Schools. I also believe it’s a vital part of society to have them. But Mr. Clegg, you have made yourself seem hypocritical. And I think that many people, probably a vast amount of your voters, have lost confidence in you. I say this because in the student world at least, people now see Nick Clegg as the cop out.
Of course, I think it’s a wonderful thing that his children are going to go to a Catholic School. In fact, this may be a way of changing Nick Clegg’s view on the Faith School front. But at the moment, the decision is a political disaster. But I guess family comes first; indeed, he is honouring his wedding vows, and I think Christians should pray for him that he may be enlightened on the idea of faith schooling. We also mustn’t forget that we are all hypocrites. Just sayin’…
And just to end – I think we should see Nick Clegg publicly apologise on behalf of the Lib Dems for slagging off the school if his children get in. Just because he’s deputy PM, it doesn’t mean that he oppose faith schools so strongly, yet not batter an eyelid at the thought of sending his own kids to one.
Dean is a Minister in the Anglican Church. Currently he is Curate in the parishes of Bedwas, Machen, Michaelston-y-Fedw and Rudry in South Wales. He was born and bred in Wales, is married to Megan, and has two dogs called Taliesin and Melyn, and two cats named Sinsir and Hâf. He graduated from Cardiff University with a BA Hons. in Theology & Religious Studies, and has studied for an MA in Theology, Ministry & Mission at Trinity College Bristol. He also holds a Cert.RSCM from the Royal School of Church Music. He loves playing music, walking, reading, blogging and horse riding as well as going to the cinema and theatre.
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I think it’s clear by now that Nick Clegg says one thing and does another… Aside from that, he’s perfectly entitled to send his children where he wants, but I wonder if his children get any say in it? I bet they don’t want to have to travel all the way across London every morning! Also, I don’t see the problem with faith schools being slightly strict since they’re trying to distinguish between people who actually believe and people who just say they do to get into a good school, but I do agree that they should look at the whole situation and not just whether or not the parents help at church fetes…
Well his wife is Catholic, so I imagine that they are too, and probably don’t have a problem with it. Families like this don’t seem to have much problem with going to top notch institutions.
I would also say that the Church School idea is that people send their kids their for a religiously flavoured education- and belonging to the Church is a part of that. So I don’t know exactly how inclusive it should be… after all, it’s not state school, and even state schools aren’t all inclusive…
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