Proposed school reforms must be inclusive and well-monitored warn Accord Coalition

May 25, 2010

The Accord Coalition has responded with both a welcome and a warning to the announcement today about the Government’s proposal of two education Bills to significantly reform the management and operational freedom of state funded schools.

The Chair of the Accord Coalition, Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain, said ‘it is vital that whatever changes are enacted by upcoming legalisation that new and existing state schools are required to operate in inclusive ways.’

‘It is equally important that greater freedoms must be accompanied by greater monitoring, so that those freedoms are used responsibly and not hijacked by those with extreme views.’

‘All new schools must be compelled to admit children regardless of their religious or non-religious backgrounds. All new and existing schools must also provide children with a broad and balanced education, which allows them to make informed choices and sets them up for adult life in our increasingly diverse society. Schools should not be allowed to provide Religious Education that only focuses on a narrow range of beliefs or to fail to provide thorough Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education.’

‘We are discovering to our cost the errors of allowing schools to segregate and discriminate on the basis of religion and belief and to provide children with a narrow programme of learning. We must learn from these mistakes to ensure we do not repeat them in future.’

‘The two Bills will enable the creation of more Academy Schools, to make it easier for parents and other groups to set up their own state funded schools and for schools to have greater freedom over the curriculum they teach.’

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