Rev. Tim Hastie-Smith told the annual conference of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference:
"In our schools we have the freedom, if we choose, to fight that malaise. Not by retreating from society but engaging with the big questions in a mature and reasoned way, offering possible answers and challenges rather than the passing fads of an X-Factor culture."
The X-Factor is a British reality show similar to American Idol. Rev. Hastie-Smith is dead-on in his critique of how abandoning the schools' traditional role in teaching children in accordance with Judeo-Christian principles has led to moral relativism and the valuing of style over substance.
Rev. Hastie-Smith also said state schools were being smothered by red tape and government dictates and should be given the freedom to set their own curriculum and appoint staff that private schools enjoy:
"Education, if it is to achieve true excellence and if it is to be tailored to the needs of the individual child, should be free of government control....Free from political control, free from the red tape and dictates which can smother our colleagues in most of the maintained [i.e. government-run] sector."
To have a truly effective school, decisions need to be made at the lowest feasible level. Micromanagement by politicians and other bureaucrats hundreds of miles away in the state capitol or thousands of miles away in the nation's capitol interferes with the ability of teachers and school administrators to do the jobs for which they've been hired. We need to grant them the flexibility they need to meet their students' individual needs rather than forcing them to follow a "one-size-fits-all" model from on high.