The head teacher of the country’s leading independent school has criticised the country’s faith schools, arguing that they are “divisive” and fail to teach respect for other faiths.
Dr Martin Stephen, High Master of St Paul’s, itself a school with a Christian foundation, said that faith schools were too often “founded on fear”.
He was speaking on the eve of today’s annual John Colet Day service at St Paul’s in London. The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams is to preach this year to mark the 500th anniversary of the founding of the school by John Colet, Dean of St Paul’s, in 1509. Colet, an early Christian humanist, founded the school with the aim of giving a free education to as many boys as possible.
Dr Stephen was immediately condemned as “dangerous” by the Bishop of London, the Right Rev Richard Chartres, whose diocese includes the cathedral and who lives in the old deanery.