THE HIERARCHY are expecting details soon of how the State will make 100 per cent grants to Catholic schools involved in the reorganisation of secondary education.
Announcing this at last week's 49th annual conference of the Catholic Teachers' Federation, Archbishop Beck said: "We have been promised by two Secretaries of State for Education that the Catholic community will not be involved financially.
"This has been accepted as a principle and I am hoping to see the present Secretary of State shortly put into practice detailed offers."
Irrespective of coming changes Archbishop Beck said, he strongly disagreed with the view that Catholics should abandon their existing educational system because of increasing financial difficulties.
Speaking as chairman of the Catholic Education Council, he denied that the Catholic effort in education in the last 100 years had been wasted.
Yet, said the Archbishop, at Loughborough Technical College, Leicestershire: "Possibly for some generations" many parents will not be able to find places for their children in Catholic schools, and because
of this parents as a whole must be "much more committed to a Christian education".
Of the dangers with which children excluded from Catholic schools may face, he said, "We are coming to realise that it is not just Catholicism or the Church of England that is under attack. There is an eroding influence in the country which wants to see the supernatural left aside altogether— good humanists all of them, playing the game together."
In addition to addresses by Archbishop Beck and Mr. Andrew Kean, principal of All Saints College of Education, Leeds, papers were read by experts in five different fields.
Mr. Graham Bloodworth, deputy headmaster of Cardinal Hinsley school, Newark, Notts, a member of the panel at present working on the new catechism under Rev. F. Somerville, S.J.. expressed doubts about presenting this book as a tool designed for many different jobs. He commented on the dullness of the text as it stood but added "there are hopeful signs that the catechism will not be issued in any form without a thorough revision."
The Conference reaffirmed that it is a basic principle of Catholic education that Catholic children should be taught in Catholic schools by Catholic teachers, and pledged full support to the Bishops in their efforts to ensure that the future supply of school places and teachers is adequate.
Where the provision of places in Catholic schools is inadequate, the Federation, in conjunction with other interested parties, decided it should take steps to co-ordinate and extend facilities for the religious education of Catholic children attending non-Catholic schools.
Mr. James McGibbon, principal lecturer in education at St. Mary's College, Strawberry Hill, told the conference that easier divorce and legalised abortion would create "an ideal spawning bed for maladjusted children". In neglecting the needs of nursery, infant and junior schools in favour of reorganising secondary education, raising . the school-leaving age and developing higher education, education itself was providing. further machinery for boosting the number of retarded and maladjusted children.
Miss Edgley, assistant mistress in a secondary school at Camberwell, South London, told the conference that pupils had opportunities to travel and to enjoy music, theatre, and ballet. They were encouraged to question, discuss, and give their opinions but perhaps the pendulum had swung too far.
It was a pity that young people were encouraged to air their opinions in public before they had sufficient knowledge or experience to make those opinions worthwhile. "Too much emphasis on youth has led to a too quick growing up," she added.