Politics Faith schools could be allowed to exclude children who...

Faith schools could be allowed to exclude children who do not follow their religion

-

- Advertisment -

Faith schools will be able to exclude children who do not follow their religion from applying under plans being considered by the Government, it has been reported.

Senior officials are said to be considering repealing the 50 per cent rule, which says religious schools must make half their places open to children of differing faiths.

Will Tanner, Rishi Sunak’s deputy chief of staff, and James Nation, the deputy head of the Number 10 policy unit, are said to be involved in the consultation, according to The Sunday Times.

It reported that Gillian Keegan, the Education Secretary, is also believed to be in favour of the repeal and is playing a significant role in the discussions.

David Cameron – who has described himself as “evangelical” about his own Christian faith – introduced the cap while in the coalition government with the Liberal Democrats.

An estimated 850,000 children are educated in Catholic schools across England and Wales, making them the largest provider of secondary education and the second-largest provider of primary education in England.

Most types of faith schools in England qualify for exemptions from the Equality Act 2010, enabling them to prioritise children from families who share their faith if they are oversubscribed.

This can include requirements for parents and children to regularly attend a local place of worship or to provide evidence of baptism. As a result, some parents are unable to send their children to their local state school.

UN called for ban

In August, the United Nations called for a ban on religion being used to select pupils in England in what MPs described as a “secular-inspired attack”  on faith schools.

The UN committee on the rights of the child published a report on child rights in Britain, which concluded that “preventing the use of religion as a selection criterion for schools admissions in England” was a priority.

It also recommended repealing legal provisions for compulsory attendance in collective worship and called on the Government to establish statutory guidance to ensure that children have the right to withdraw from religious classes without parental consent.

The report sparked a backlash from MPs, religious leaders and faith school providers, who claimed it would be “illiberal” to deny religious families the basic right of a religious education and said it was inaccurate to claim that collective worship attendance was compulsory.

Nick Fletcher, the Conservative MP for Don Valley and a member of the education select committee, described it as an “attack on people and institutions of faith”.

“It does not seem to come from a position of tolerance but rather one of intolerance,” he said. “I have confidence that here in the UK we will continue to respect Christianity and the other great faiths and to recognise the huge benefit they and the institutions they run bring to our society.”

A Department for Education spokesman said: “The diversity of schools in this country is one of our education system’s most valuable assets, and faith schools play a pivotal role in that. As we continue to uphold diversity and quality education for all, we keep all policies under review to ensure that this country’s education system is world-leading.”

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest news

- Advertisement -

Must read

Lady Gaga and Cardi B Meet at the Grammys

What was expected of her was the same thing...
- Advertisement -

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you