Head slams timing of bible scheme

By Tim Clarke 17/05 Updated: 17/05 17:18

Buy photos » Anger - Neil Morris with the copy of the King James Bible sent to him and thousands of other headteachers. Picture by Geoff Berkeley.

A FURIOUS headteacher has branded the Government “bonkers” and out of touch for sending a copy of the King James Bible to every primary and secondary school in England.

Neil Morris (pictured), from Christopher Whitehead Language College, is one of thousands of headteachers to have been posted a copy of the Bible by Education Secretary Michael Gove to mark its 400th anniversary.

But Mr Morris said the timing of the £375,000 scheme, which has been funded by private sponsors, was an insult coming just weeks after Mr Gove put off tackling the huge disparity in school funding for Worcestershire pupils, until 2015.

He was speaking ahead of his appearance on this weekend’s BBC Sunday Politics show, discussing the national school funding formula. Worcestershire currently receives £482 less per pupil than the national average.

Mr Morris said the Government should be focusing its efforts on addressing the funding gap rather than securing money to send out Bibles to thousands of schools.

“The point I am trying to make is that the timing stinks,” he said.

“Yes, it’s a beautiful book, but I’d rather have the money thank you. I just find it bonkers what is coming out of the Government at the moment. This is when schools are catching water in buckets, having not got a roof that is fit for purpose. Schools have also got to cut courses, not because of the value of the course, but because they cannot afford the text books.”

Mr Morris, whose school received an outstanding Ofsted report from inspectors in 2010, said Mr Gove was out of touch with the struggles facing many schools, including his own, which has some buildings in urgent need of repair.

“I don’t know who is advising these ministers but they want to come and look at our school,” he said.

“We have seven buildings - some of them are brilliant but we have got a music block which is not fit for purpose, and every school in Worcester could probably say the same. It’s totally unfair the postcode lottery we are living in at the moment.”

In his letter accompanying the Bible, Mr Gove said he felt it was important that all pupils - of all faiths or none - should appreciate the King James Bible and its impact on the country’s language and democracy.

Worcester MP Robin Walker said he agreed the Government should be pressing ahead more quickly with school funding reform but supported the donation of the Bibles to schools.

Popular Stories »

1 Exciting vision for Shrub Hill revealed

2 Singing praises of brain op doctors

3 Headteacher welcomes planned expansion

4 Drug dealer jailed for 16 years

5 Bevere development given green light despite opposition

More news »

Health chiefs issue measles warning

HEALTH chiefs are urging people to make sure

Jobs boost for famous sauce factory

MORE jobs will be created at a factory

Tony's cooking up a treat for charity

A DEVOTED father and fearless fund-raiser has cooked

People urged to support charity shops

CHARITY shops in Worcester are urging people to

Regional news »


Stratford Observer
Happy Birthday William Shakespeare

TODAY (or thereabouts) marks the 450th birthday of Stratford's most ...

Bromsgrove Standard
Bromsgrove and Rubery celebrates St George's Day

PATRIOTIC residents have been flying the flag this week to ...

Redditch Standard
Go meat free for St George

A WINYATES woman has held a semi-naked protest outside the ...

Evesham Observer
Bishop's wife loses cancer battle

THE BISHOP of Worcester has asked for prayers for him ...

Business Directory »

See your advert here »