Taxpayers pick up rising bill for faith schools

June 22, 2009

It has been revealed that the proportion of capital funding provided by religious organisations to voluntary aided faith schools has been falling year on year.

By law, the religious bodies that run voluntary aided faith schools are responsible for 10% of the capital costs for new buildings. Only when spending is deemed “exceptional” does the government pay the whole fee.

However, the proportion of funding in this “exceptional” category has grown each year, leaving the taxpayer responsible for a growing bill. In 2008-9, the shortfall between the 10% that religious organisations are normally required to pay and the 7.5% on average that they actually pay was £18.4m.

All of the running costs of these schools, including teachers’ salaries are also met by the taxpayer.

Campaigners for inclusive education argue that state funded schools should not discriminate against pupils or teachers on the grounds of their beliefs.

Accord Chair Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain said:

“It is astonishing that the impression given by faith school providers that they pay 10% of their capital costs is not actually happening because of “exceptional funding” that is increasing year on year; but even worse is the fact that so many of them are using tax-payers money to divide children and fragment the next generation. It is vital for the long-term health of society that children of different traditions grow up together and learn to inter-act on a daily basis. Those of us who value religion do not want a multi-faith society to end up as a multi-fractious one.”

Alex Kennedy is the Coalition Coordinator
Email this author | All posts by Alex Kennedy

Accord depends on your support

Please give.

Sign up

find us on Facebook

News history