Accord Coalition worry that Free Schools programme will increase religious division in education and society

September 7, 2010

The Accord Coalition has responded with concern to the news released today from the Department for Education that of the first 16 new Free Schools that are to be created, 7 are to be faith schools with a religious character.

The new Free Schools have been enabled by the Academies Act 2010, which was rushed through parliament earlier this summer. The Act will give these new schools even more power and freedom than existing faith schools, such as complete freedom from teaching according to the National Curriculum.

‘The fact that almost half of those who have applied to be Free Schools are faith schools is a major concern, indicating that the free schools system could be hijacked by those with a religious agenda who want to segregate their children from those of other traditions in Britain. This would be detrimental to the wellbeing of both those children and society at large’.


The Accord Coalition was launched in September 2008 to bring together religious and non religious organisations campaigning for an end to religious discrimination in school staffing and admissions. The coalition also campaigns for a fair and balanced RE curriculum, for pupils to receive Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education, the removal of the requirement for compulsory collective worship, but does not take a position for or against faith schools in principle. Its growing list of members and supporters include the British Humanist Association, the Christian think tank Ekklesia, the British Muslims for Secular Democracy, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers and members from all three of the largest parties in parliament.

For further comment, contact Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain on 07770 722 893.

For further information, contact Paul Pettinger on 020 7462 4990.

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