Southwater Oasis Free School

This evening, a group of Horsham Humanists attended the public consultation for the proposed new free school Southwater Oasis Secondary.

The room was packed. After a presentation from HCT and Oasis, questions and comments were invited. Every one of them was critical. What a grubbing the two speakers got.

I managed to ask the following question. "Why are you proposing a Christian school rather than a fully inclusive community school, especially when less than 5% of people attend church monthly? Only 9% of Head teachers want more faith schools. 64% of the public don’t want any state-funded religious schools because they discriminate against a large proportion of children. For example, 65% of teenagers are non-religious, and others have different religious beliefs. How can they feel included in a school that prioritises Christian beliefs?"

The Oasis speaker said that this was not a Christian school but a community school. When asked what the Christian ethos of the school was, he said that he believed in Jesus, who was the most inclusive man who ever lived. There was a deathly silence as he made more claims about the role of Jesus. Later, another person queried statements about Jesus on the Oasis website. I doubt anyone present really believed that these religious organisations (HCT and Oasis) would be interested in running a non-religious community school.

The thrust of the comments made were that this school was being foisted on the residents of Southwater, who don't want it. The people who do want it are HCT and Oasis.

If anyone doubts the nature of the academies run by Oasis, just read this article about an Oasis academy in Grimsby.

And this one about their Salford "non-faith" academy.

Religious organisations run religious schools. Period.

There are more comments and articles in the West Sussex County Times and also here.



-1 #1 Orwell 2012-03-27 17:41
Nothing wrong with having more choice of shcools. The trouble is all the busy-bodies (typically working in the public sector) who think they speak on behalf of the public when they only care about their own jobs and protest at the merest hint of competition.

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