Faith schools and indoctrination : A response to Michael Hand
Michael Hand has recently advocated the abolition of faith schools on the grounds that they may indoctrinate their pupils. In this rejoinder, I aim to show that the assumptions underpinning his thesis are seriously flawed. Initially, I question whether faith schools set out to indoctrinate. I then consider whether they are able to do so (particularly in a secular society) and if we can ever know that a faith school, rather than some other agency, has been responsible for indoctrination. Finally, I cast doubt on Hand’s key assumption concerning pupils’ perceptions of their teachers. I contend that it is theoretically problematic and empirically unsupported.