Accord welcomes new online tool mapping religious selection in school admissions

December 3, 2013

The Fair Admissions Campaign – the ecumenical campaign focused solely on reducing and preventing state funded faith schools selecting pupils by faith, which Accord co-launched in June – has published today a new online tool mapping the extent of social and ethnic inclusiveness of all secondary schools in England, as well how religiously selective individual faith schools are. The pioneering Inclusive-schools-logo-version-3-300x202tool is designed to offer greater scrutiny of religiously selective school admission policies, as well as provide a resource for families to better understand how the faith selection minefield may impact upon them.

A by-product of creating the tool has been the production of detailed statistical analysis looking at how reflective faith schools are of their local area. The new research shows that the more a school is permitted to select children by faith, the greater the extent to which it is likely to socio-economically segregate, confirming for the first time what some had already suspected. For example, those secondary faith schools that do not select by faith are shown to admit only 1.4% fewer pupils entitled to free school meals than would be expected if the schools reflected their immediate local area, whereas those that have an admissions policy that permit all places to be allocated on faith grounds admit 30.4% fewer pupils entitled to free school meals than would be expected if the schools admitted local children.

Chair of the Accord Coalition for Inclusive Education, Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain MBE said, ‘The new research exposes the hypocrisy of those who claim religiously selective schools serve the community at large. It reveals that they not only further segregate children on religious and ethnic grounds, but also are skewed towards serving the affluent at the expense of the deprived. The data poses some very awkward questions for the state funded faith school sector, especially as many people are appalled that schools that should focus on the poor have become so elitist.’


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