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UK plan for schools to replace churches as centres of community

Schools in Britain are to "replace churches" as the centre of local communities, according to a new government directive quoted yesterday by Independent Catholic News.

The news service says that Education Secretary Charles Clarke was expected to say that schools will be turned into community centres open to local people before school starts and in the evenings.

The centres would offer childcare to pre-school children, youth clubs for teenagers and even health centres for parents and teenagers who would be offered confidential medical advice, including on contraception.

"Churches used to be the centre of communities but they are not any more," said one government source. "The idea is to group together lots of different community services in schools and make use of school facilities so they become the hub of local communities."

Under the plans, primary schools would become "community institutions" that offer "a much greater range of services than just teaching". The public would have use of playing fields, gyms and even school computers.

Plans for schools 'to replace churches' as centres of community (Independent Catholic News 8/9/04)

9 Sep 2004