Last year the Government announced proposals to usher in a massive expansion of religious discrimination and segregation in the education system. Dismantling progress made in 2007 when a 50% cap on religiously selective admissions was introduced for all new ‘faith’ schools, the Government’s plans would drop that cap and once again allow all ‘faith’ schools to become entirely segregated in their intakes.
But now, after almost a year of campaigning by Humanists UK and its supporters, the Government is considering a u-turn.
All the evidence suggests that religious selection leads to greater segregation along religious, ethnic, and socio-economic lines, and reduces the access of local families to their local schools. In our increasingly diverse society, we should be encouraging those from different backgrounds and with different beliefs to come together, not introducing policies that will only drive them further apart.
If the Government is to listen to the better interests of children and society instead of the vested interests of the religious lobby, we need your help.
Please email the Secretary of State for Education Justine Greening and urge her to abandon plans to drop the 50% cap on faith-based admissions. Our view is that there should be no ‘faith’ schools at all, but that as long as they do exist, they should have no right to discriminate. The 50% cap is an important step on the way to achieving that goal and to realising an inclusive education system in which children from all backgrounds can learn together, play together, and grow up together.
A template letter is provided, which will be automatically emailed to the Secretary of State. If you want your letter to be even more effective, though, you can edit it yourself to make it more personal to you. Here are some examples:
As a young person… describe your recent experience of school. Was it inclusive? Did you mix with children from different backgrounds?
Having attended a ‘faith’ school yourself… how diverse was it? Was it religiously selective? If so, what effect did that have?
As a parent, carer, or grandparent… What kind of school do your grandchildren go to? Do you want them to mix with children from different backgrounds? As a teacher or governor… does your school select?