Former Secretary of State for Education, Lord Baker of Dorking, joins the Accord Coalition

November 1, 2013
KB photograph 2013

Lord Baker of Dorking

The Accord Coalition has today welcomed Conservative Lord Baker of Dorking as its newest Distinguished Supporter. Lord Baker served in several Cabinet roles in the 1980’s and 1990’s, including as Education Secretary from 1986 to 1989. Lord Baker is the founder of the Baker Dearing Trust, an educational trust set up in 2009 to promote the establishment in England of University Technical Colleges, which offer technically oriented courses of study.

Explaining his decision to join Accord, Lord Baker said ‘Schools can have a powerful impact upon cohesiveness in society. I believe very strongly that children of all religions and beliefs – Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and atheists – should mix in schools, ensuring they grow up together, learning with and from one another.’

Speaking about immediate government policy Lord Baker urged that ‘Any application for a new faith school should only be approved if at least 50% of the students are recruited from outside the faith and that proportion is maintained over the years ahead.’ In the summer of 2010 the Government enacted policy requiring new religiously designated Free Schools to be limited in prioritising no more than 50% of pupils on faith grounds, although other types of faith school were left unaffected.

Chair of the Accord Coalition, Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain MBE said ‘I am delighted to welcome Lord Baker as a Distinguished Supporter. His support not only strengthens Accord’s voice, but further highlights the breadth of concern about how faith can be distorted to act as a source of division in our schools’.

Lord Baker joins Accord’s growing list of Distinguished Supporters, who come from different professional backgrounds and hold differing religion and belief, plus Party political affiliations. The list includes:

  • Baroness Tessa Blackstone, Labour Peeress, Minister for Education (1997-2001) and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Greenwich
  • Rt Rev Richard Holloway, former Bishop of Edinburgh
  • Naomi Long MP, the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland’s first MP elected to the House of Commons; Northern Ireland’s largest non-sectarian Party
  • Dr Caroline Lucas MP, former leader of the Green Party of England and Wales
  • Lord Glentoran, Conservative Peer and Olympic gold medallist
  • Fiona Miller, education campaigner
  • Philip Pullman, author
  • Polly Toynbee, journalist and writer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Accord depends on your support

Please give.

Sign up

find us on Facebook

News history