Accord urges Government to prioritise tackling school segregation

June 5, 2018

The Accord Coalition has this week responded to the Government’s consultation on its recently published integration strategy. Released in March in the form of a Green Paper, the strategy sets out a range of initiatives, a number of which relate to schools.

Among Accord’s recommendations are that the current cap preventing faith free schools from not selecting more than half of their pupils by faith should be extended to all types of state funded faith school. Accord also urges that the legal frameworks around Religious Education and assemblies be reformed, to help ensure schools are more religiously inclusive and so be environments where greater mixing between people from different backgrounds can be facilitated.

Chair of the Accord Coalition, the Reverend Stephen Terry, said ‘The Government’s integration strategy is too timid and narrow in scope in relation to schools. If the Government also goes ahead with its plan to help open a new wave of voluntary aided faith schools which can religiously discriminate when selecting up to 100% of their pupils then it will make matters worse.

‘However, the strategy acknowledges that segregation in the school system is a major threat to integration. Despite a mismatch between the Government’s analysis and its current policies, recognising the dangers of segregation is an important step if we are to create a school system that lays solid foundations for social cohesion in our increasingly diverse society.

‘State funded schools should not discriminate, and least of all in the name of religion. As an interim measure, we urge the Government not to help groups get round its 50% discrimination cap, but extend it to other faith schools. This would make a very significant contribution towards changing the pernicious culture that considers it okay for state funded schools to be seen as serving only certain groups.’

One Response to Accord urges Government to prioritise tackling school segregation

  1. Allan Hayes on June 7, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    I am fed up of phrases like “religious and non religious” we should be bringing children together in humanity, and looking at religion within this context.

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