Theresa May’s Rabbi calls for schools to promote greater religious integration

June 23, 2017
Commenting, Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain, who serves as the Minister of the Maidenhead Synagogue and also Chairs the Accord Coalition, said ‘Britain has many divisions within it – whether it be politically, racially or over Brexit. Surely it is in society’s interests that the next generation grows up side by side and not with children of different faith backgrounds being segregated from each other into separate schools?

‘By all means let faith schools have a faith ethos, but do not fill up the classroom with children of just one faith to the exclusion of others. It would be inconceivable to do so on racial grounds, so why is it any less divisive to do so on religious ones?

‘When Michael Gove introduced the 50% cap for faith free schools in 2010, it was widely recognised as a progressive measure that benefited the pupils and promoted a more integrated society. There are those who are calling for the cap to be lifted – but they are focusing on their own self-interest, not the national interest – and their voices should be resisted.’

Last year the Government held a public consultation on ideas related to its September 2016 ‘Schools that work for everyone‘ Green Paper, which proposed to scrap the 50% cap. Many of the ideas in the Green Paper have been dropped since the Election. The Government was expected to soon issue a response to the consultation before the snap Election was then called.

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