Top teacher warns of value gap in schools

Superficial X-Factor thinking is filling the moral vacuum left by a retreat from Christian values, a head teachers’ leader has warned.

The Revd Tim Hastie-Smith, the headmaster of an independent school, said that teachers are too embarrassed to talk about God and religion with pupils.

Instead, they allow children to believe in the kind of instant success seen in the television talent show X-Factor, he said.

Revd Hastie-Smith was speaking at the Headmasters’ and Headmistress’s Conference in London.

He said: “The retreat of God from education has left a moral and spiritual vacuum and the breakdown of any shared value system.”

He also said that notions of personal responsibility were being replaced with a “toddler mentality” where “everything is somebody else’s fault”.

Another independent school head recently lambasted the Government’s use of schools as welfare tools to deal with issues such as teenage pregnancy and drug misuse.

Martin Stephen, High Master of St Paul’s, West London, said that teachers were being asked to act like social workers at the expense of academic integrity.

“We have failed to meet basic standards in core subjects in that curriculum whilst expanding the number of subjects massively.

“We have shifted a whole load of society’s conscience on to that curriculum, making teachers and schools more and more responsible for preaching against drug misuse, teenage pregnancy and a host of other problems.”

Mr Stephen’s claims came from a new book of essays by the heads of Britain’s top private schools.

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