Church Schools Award should not exclude says Accord

March 22, 2011

The Accord Coalition is delighted – but also disappointed – by the Church Schools Awards, which will be announced on Thursday 24 March 2011.

“We welcome this attempt to celebrate local community work and global citizenship,” said Accord Coalition Chair, Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain. “However, we regret that a key criteria missing from the eligibility requirements for this award is that schools should follow fair admissions and not discriminate against pupils of no faith or the ‘wrong faith’. Equally absent was a commitment by schools not to discriminate against employing teachers who do not follow a particular faith” he added.

The Accord Coalition links both religious and non-religious organizations in campaigning for inclusive education and against religious discrimination in schools.

Simon Barrow, co-director of the Christian think-tank Ekklesia, one of the founding members of the Accord Coalition, commented: “Many church schools do not operate discriminatory admissions policies, even though the current law allows them to. It is a shame that their choice to include rather than exclude is not being acknowledged by the way the Church Schools Awards have been set up.”

“Britain is a mixed belief and multi-cultural society where social cohesion is ever more important,” concluded Dr Romain. ”It is sad – not least for people of faith – that religious schools should remain the last bastion of discrimination in the state system.”

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