In September 2016 the Government announced plans to remove the 50% cap on faith-based admissions to free schools and academies. As always the National Secular Society will vigorously challenge any efforts to increase religious discrimination in publicly funded schools.
Please consider signing this petition.
FAO: The Rt Hon Justine Greening MP, Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities
Dear Ms Greening,
We (the signatories to this petition) urge you to reconsider the proposal to remove the 50% cap on faith-based admissions to free schools and academies.
Removal of the cap would allow an ever greater number of publicly funded schools to discriminate against pupils based on their parents’ religious beliefs. The weight of evidence makes clear that this will result in further religious, ethnic and social segregation within schools, which cannot possibly aid integration or inclusion.
Imperfect though the cap may be, it remains the only measure of any substance that has directly sought to address the segregation that has been and continues to be caused by religious selection in schools.
In a society as diverse as ours, rather than facilitating segregation along religious lines, the Government should be doing everything it can to ensure that children of all faiths and none are educated together in inclusive schools.
If the Government wishes to “promote inclusivity”, it is clear that facilitating a new generation of 100% religiously selective schools is, by definition, inimical to this aim.
We therefore urge you to consider ways of ending religious discrimination and segregation in our schools – rather than extending it, as these proposals would.
Please rethink these proposals and instead ensure that all of our schools are open and inclusive, catering for all local children regardless of their religious or non-religious beliefs.