Tuesday, 6 March 2018
Keep faith Schools Admissions Cap
Chief Officer Derek McAuley joined religious leaders, parliamentarians, education experts, and public figures in signing an open letter calling on Education Secretary to keep the faith school admissions cap.
“We represent a diverse range of educational, religious, political, academic, and other stakeholders from across British society, and our views on the merits or otherwise of faith schools are diverse too. However, we are all in agreement that our state schools, of whatever character, should be open, inclusive, diverse, and integrated, and never exclusive, monocultural, or segregated.
The Government rightly identifies the promotion of mutual understanding and tolerance for those of different religions and beliefs as one of the most important roles for schools. As we are all aware, children are blind to the differences and immune to the prejudices that so often divide society. The duty of the education system, therefore, should not be to highlight and entrench such differences in the eyes and minds of young people, but to emphasise instead the common values that we all share.
Removing the 50% cap on religious selection at faith-based free schools runs entirely counter to this ambition. It is difficult to bring to mind a more divisive policy, or one more deleterious to social cohesion and respect, than one which allows schools to label children at the start of their lives with certain beliefs and then divide them up on that basis.
The Department for Education is yet to respond formally to its consultation on these proposals – opposed by 80% of the public, including 67% of Catholics and 71% of Christians overall. All the evidence shows categorically that the cap has achieved its stated aim. It is not too late to maintain it.”
See the letter printed in the Telegraph:
For further information and list of signatories