Religious and ethnic mixing in schools can make a major contribution towards boosting the growth trust, cohesion and integration in society. Mixing doesn't simply avoid pitfalls and dangers of segregation, but takes better advantage of the nature of young people to form friendships that cross barriers, whether of race, religion or socio-economic. Since 2010 the Government has required almost all new faith schools to select no more than half of their pupils by religion. Though a relatively small measure, the 50% cap highlights that faith and discrimination need not go hand in hand.
The Accord Coalition doesn't want any state funded school to religiously discriminate. We would like government to go much further. However, the Government is currently considering plans to do away with the current cap altogether. This is despite all the evidence showing the positive benefits of ethnic mixing in schools. Doing away with the cap would not equip faith schools for the realities of operating in an increasingly diverse society, but instead send schools policy back to darker days when ghettoisation and division were more readily tolerated and facilitated.
Below is a template letter which you can send to the new Education Secretary, Damian Hinds, urging him to maintain the 50% cap. The template letter can be amended in any way you wish. Do consider adding any personal perspectives. These could be based on your hopes and anxieties, your own direct experiences of schools and those of people close to you.