Probe into education may be approved
A RCHBISHOP Beck of Liverpool, chairman of r-k the Catholic Education Council, is considering the establishment of a national working party to examine all aspects of education. His move came after an approach by the Union of Catholic Students, which decided last week to withdraw its support for Catholic schools in Britain.
The Union took a neutral stand on the question of Catholic schools, because, it felt, there was "insufficient information to support any policy for or against'' them. At the weekend it presented to Archbishop Beck a report along these lines which it approved at its Easter general assembly.
Calling the report "an interesting and in many ways provocative document", Archbishop Beck said he agreed with its plea for a group of experts to study the philosophy of education.
One of its responsibilities would be to present evidence on the Catholic schools in Britain to Government committees, like the one on primary schools headed by Lady Plowden.
The Archbishop said he realised that the Catholic Education Council did not fulfil that function.
The U.C.S. made two other requests: (1) that a full-scale sociological survey be taken to find how well Catholic schools met the job they set out to do and (2) that the Church publish its national debt on Catholic schools each year.
Archbishop Beck said he had doubts about the value of a sociological survey but would give it serious consideration and consult universities that might be willing to undertake it.
As for publishing the schools debt annually, he said it would be extremely difficult to do so in a meaningful way. Detailed accounts on their own would not be sufficient, and the procedure of handling parish debts varied considerably from diocese to diocese.