CATHOLIC and Anglican educational authorities have reacted strongly to allegations made in a recently published pamphlet that Church schools were racist in some of their policies.
Canon Robert Waddington, the General Secretary of the Church of England Board of Education, said that "the publication recently by a pressure group called 'Christians Against Racism and Fascism' of an illadvised, poorly-researched pamphlet on Church schools was yet one more indication of the need for greater public debate and information sharing about our schools."
A Catholic reaction came from Mr Canon P. O'Dowd, Vicar General of the Diocese of Nottingham and member of the Diocesan Schools Commission, who said that he would "not be against" a discreet enquiry into racism in Catholic schools.
While stressing that there was no place for racism in Christianity, Mgr O'Dowd conceded that some Catholic children could bring into school racist attitudes learned at home.
But the new regulations that will implement the appointment of parents on the board of governers might increase this tendency.
It was not practicable at present. he claimed, to admit non-Catholic coloured children to Catholic schools because, with declining rolls, non-Catholic schools might object to what they regarded as 'poaching'.
Mrs Cynthia Bunten, Secretary of Leicester's Catholic Racial Justice Group, agreed that it was desirable to have an enquiry into racism in Catholic schools. People who claimed that there was no racism in these institutions were clearly wrong,