Accord Coalition meets with Shadow Secretary of State for Education

March 17, 2011

The Accord Coalition has today met with the Rt Hon Andy Burnham MP, the Shadow Secretary of State for Education. Accord set out its key concerns about the failures of some schools to provide broad and balanced Religious Education and PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic education) and how sectarian schools can segregate communities and undermine social cohesion.

Accord also set out its main concerns about the Education Bill, which is currently passing through parliament. These include the proposal to remove Ofsted’s duty to inspect how schools promote better community cohesion. Accord is also concerned that the Bill will reduce scrutiny of admissions practices under the its proposal to remove the responsibility on local authorities to establish a schools admission forum, and to take away the freedom of the school adjudicator to propose changes to any part of a school’s admissions arrangements are passed.

Chair of the Accord Coalition, Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain said: ‘Our meeting was very constructive, and we are very grateful to Andy Burnham, both for meeting with us and his warm reception, but also for taking on board our wide range on concerns’.

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