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Faith schools' church attendance rule deemed 'unacceptable' by half of Brits

Mon 16 Apr 2018
By Marcus Jones

The practice of a Christian school choosing to admit pupils based on the family's church attendance has been branded 'unacceptable' by 56 per cent of the public.

A YouGov survey found just 22 per cent said it was 'acceptable' with the rest in the middle.

The results come as a concerted effort is being carried out to make faith schools rethink their admissions policies.

 

Back in 2015, a survey commissioned by ITV revealed that 12 per cent of parents of primary school aged children admitted to having pretended to practice a faith in which they did not believe to get their child into a desirable faith school.

Chair of the Accord Coalition for Inclusive Education, Rev Stephen Terry, said: "People are right to oppose school places being obtained through what is in effect cheating. However, public pressure should not be directed at families, but at authorities that permit admission arrangements which are known to incentivise parents in this way."

"Faith groups associated with religiously selective schools may give themselves a boost and feel that they succeed in engaging with families interested in gaining a school place, but it is entirely bogus.

"Encouraging people to be insincere about their religious affiliation or commitment, in order to gain an unfair advantage over others who are acting honestly, undermines the reputations of these faith groups and risks diminishing their authority as moral guides and guardians."

The government recently announced it was going to change the law which currently only allows a school to select half its pupils on grounds of faith.

The Catholic Church had claimed it was adversely affecting Catholic children as its schools were having to turn them away.

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