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My theory is that the trend towards religious schools is simply because parents see them as more exclusive. The more you pay the better the education...or so the thinking goes. There is a moral aspect. I've seen this with a lot of my friends who are deciding where to send their children. They worry that not sending them to a religious school, even if they have no connection to that religion, is depriving them of certain opportunities.

Religious schools are usually founded on admirable values that can benefit students. And I agree that time for quiet contemplation is hugely beneficial for students these days! However, I believe that these schools need to walk the talk more. The Catholic school I worked at espoused views about humility and compassion, whilst acting in a manner that was completely contradictory. At the end of the day, no matter how they try and spin it to parents, these schools are businesses, and it is a challenge to balance business decisions against these values.

I feel it is important for parents to understand these contradictions and to ask schools these hards questions. Otherwise, like one of my colleagues used to say, these values just become another dot point for the website.

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I agree with all of what you say - a very plausible alternative explanation. My experience is limited to a sample of one and I hear what you say about walking the walk. A lot of these big institutions can do better.

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It is not just that these schools are businesses.

Such is also the case with all of the established religions and indeed most/all religious outfits of whatever the size. Such is obviously the case with the "catholic" and Anglican churches here in Australia. So too with the Lutherans the Uniting Church etc etc..

The "catholic" church is primarily a business corporation aggressively battling for market dominance in the market-place of whats-in-it-for-me consumerist religiosity.

The "catholic" church is also primarily a political institution too. The Vatican is recognized and treated as an "independent" political state. The Anglican church is also very a political entity too. So too with the Lutherans in some parts or Europe.

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Perhaps - there are enough parents wanting this for the schools to be viable it seems.

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