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Poet's Corner

By Alex Williams

One of the concerns humanists have around housing is the way it can be used by wealthier families to game the education system. Families with financial means who would otherwise have very little to do with religion sometimes move into the catchment area of 'the best local school', and if it's a faith school they may have to publicly label themselves as religious to gain their child entry. This might mean signing a weekly register at a place of worship, producing documents confirming religious engagement, or downright lying, all in the pursuit of a school place. Any education system that encourages deceit and duplicity as a means of accessing prized opportunities clearly needs urgent reform.

Belief in Belief

I don’t believe that nonsense

But it’s worth it for the kids.

It’ll put them back on track

Whenever life just hits the skids.

It’ll give a sense of purpose,

Of identity and pride.

It’ll make them feel all treacly

And syrupy inside.

Whenever they’re being bad, they’ll know

That someone up there’s seen it

So they’ll quickly change their attitude

And claim they didn’t mean it.

It really doesn’t matter

If they’re something of a fool,

Faith ensures a place is saved

At the most prestigious local school.

That’s why I’m here each Sunday

Signing up to stack the chairs,

On the tea and biscuit roster,

In a hat marked ‘Jesus Cares’.

But I tell you, once he’s old enough

To deal with his own sin

(And securely in the local school)

I think I’ll pack it in.

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