Pupils at failing Catholic school 'do not learn about other faiths'

Posted: Wed, 13 Jul 2022

Pupils at failing Catholic school 'do not learn about other faiths’

A state-funded Catholic school has been criticised by inspectors for failing to teach pupils about other religions.

According to an Ofsted report published this month, pupils at Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary School in Wigan "do not learn about faiths or cultures other than their own".

They are therefore "not well prepared to live in a diverse society".

The school was rated 'inadequate' by Ofsted for this and other failings, including its "poor" curriculum and high numbers of "vulnerable" pupils who do not attend school regularly.

Our Lady Immaculate is a voluntary aided school, which means it can teach religious education (RE) from its own exclusive viewpoint.

Its RE curriculum is delivered through the 'Come and See' scheme of work based on Catholic theology.

NSS: Faith schools "ill-suited" to 21st century education

National Secular Society head of campaigns Megan Manson said: "It is not surprising that faith schools permitted to teach RE from their own exclusive viewpoint fail to prepare children for living in a diverse society.

"This case demonstrates the inherent conflict between ensuring all children are taught about different faiths and cultures, and faith schools' desires to inculcate children with their particular religion.

"This intractable issue shows how ill-suited faith schools are to the educational needs of children in the 21st century."

Failings at independent faith schools

Other Ofsted reports published this month revealed a number of independent faith schools have also failed to meet standards:

  • Ofsted conducted an unannounced monitoring visit to the Institute of Islamic Education in Dewsbury prompted by complaints about sexual abuse, safety and quality of care. The inspection found leaders failed to properly address a "serious allegation" of peer-on-peer sexual abuse and an assault on a pupil by other children. Similar concerns were raised last year.
  • Wiznitz Cheder School, a Jewish school in London, gives "too little time" to secular subjects. Despite developing a plan to teach about different religions and cultures and different types of families, it has not ensured that these plans are applied effectively in the classroom.
  • Pupils at Talmud Torah Yetev Lev, another Jewish school in London, continue to have a "limited understanding" of other faiths and cultures despite repeated concerns raised. The school has also failed to meet safeguarding standards.

Join our national campaign against faith schools

We campaign for an inclusive and secular education system free from any form of religious privilege, partisanship, proselytization or discrimination. Please consider a donation, from as little as £1 a month, to help support our work in this area.

P.S. make sure to check out the related campaigns below.

Tags: Education, Faith schools, Religious education