Take action to oppose plans for 100% religiously selective schools

The Government is currently consulting on plans to allow new ‘faith’ schools to religiously discriminate against children for 100% of their places. The consultation ends on 12 December.

Make no mistake, if these plans go ahead our schools will be more segregated, our society more divided, and our children less prepared for life in an increasingly diverse country.

Since 2007, new ‘faith’ schools have only been allowed to select 50% of children on religious grounds. This 50% cap has been incredibly successful both in boosting integration and ensuring that families have access to their local schools.

The Government’s intention now risks reversing all of this progress, taking us further away from the fair, open and inclusive school system we all want to see, and denying children the opportunity to grow up in a society where everyone is a potential friend, no matter what their religious or non-religious background.

Please, respond to the Government’s consultation by 12 December and oppose this unthinkable extension of religious segregation in schools.

A template consultation response is provided below, which will be submitted automatically on your behalf. You can also view the consultation on the Government’s website.

We strongly encourage you to use this response as a template only. The more customised responses are, the more notice that will be taken of them. For example, you can  add details of any relevant personal experiences.

Here are some examples to help:

  • As a young person… do you have any recent experience of school that you think is worth including? Is/was your school diverse? What impact has this had on your friendships?
  • Having attended a ‘faith’ school yourself… was it religiously selective? Did you mix with children from different backgrounds? If so, explain how valuable you think that was. If not, how did that impact on your school experience?
  • As a parent, carer, or grandparent… what kind of school do your children/grandchildren go to? Do they have classmates or friends from a range of different religious and non-religious backgrounds? Have you had problems trying to get your child into a local school as a result of religious selection? And is their experience more selective than your own education? How do you think your experience has affected your life and friendships?
  • As a teacher or governor… does your school religiously select? If your school is diverse, how does this enrich the children’s experience? Do you have any examples from your school of the benefits of children mixing with those from different backgrounds? If your school does religiously select, has this caused any problems?
  • As a resident in an area with lots of ‘faith’ schools... how diverse are they? (You can find out how socio-economically inclusive each English secondary is at fairadmissions.org.uk/map). If they religiously select, how has this impacted on the community? Do parents feel forced to attend church just to get their children into a good local school?
The Department for Education asks that respondents identify themselves as either a ParentPupil at a schoolStudent at a higher education institution, Employee of a school, Employee of a multi academy trust, Member of a local authority maintained school governing body, Member of an academy, free school, studio school or UTC governing body, Employee of a local authority, Employee of a higher education institution, Member of a faith group or 'Other (please specify)'. It would be helpful if you could add your self-identification to the introduction to your consultation response.
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