Call to prevent community schools being forced to become faith Academies

June 5, 2015

The Accord Coalition has urged for guarantees that community schools will not be required or able to discriminate by faith or provide narrow or instructional Religious Education if they are forced to join faith Academy chains, following publication this week of the Education and Adoption Bill. The Bill proposes to grant new powers to the Secretary of State for Education to force a wider range of locally maintained schools deemed to be underperforming to become an Academy, including by joining an Academy chain.

Currently, governors and senior staff appointed to non-faith schools under the control of a faith Academy chain could be selected on faith grounds so as to uphold the chain’s religious ethos. A faith Academy chain’s influence may also impact the curriculum and assemblies of such schools, so that greater emphasis and deference is shown to its particular beliefs. There is also nothing to stop at a later date a future Secretary of State agreeing to allow such schools to be formally designated as a faith school upon the urging of the chain.

Chair of the Accord Coalition, Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain, said ‘The Government should make it impossible for community schools to become faith schools by the back door, and allow them to remain committed to bringing together families from a wide section of society and serving them equally. The public do not want an inadvertent land grab by any sectional interests for the minds of children, but for state funded schools to be inclusive.’

One Response to Call to prevent community schools being forced to become faith Academies

  1. Richard Hayden on September 19, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    Hi, I am getting in touch with regards to my and my fellow parents of Highfield Humanities college in Blackpool concerns that a faith based group called TET has been selected in somewhat dubious circumstance to be the sponsor of the school when it becomes an academy.
    This Muslim faith orientated group has been the subject of a great deal of controversy recently and the subject of a documentary on dispatches channel 4
    The reason for our objections is that every school that TET controls has this far become a Muslim faith based school and in many cases a single sex school.
    I am seeking advice on behalf of our action group HIGHFIELD RESIDENTS ACTION GROUP which has been set up to coordinate our objections and liaise with the ineffective and utterly disinterested Blackpool Borough Council and the school Board of Governors.
    Can you help us with some advice on how we should proceed with our campaign. We are concerned we have a “David and Goliath” situation on our hands
    Richard Hayden

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