Disadvantage in the school system for the non-religious highlighted

June 21, 2018

A new report has revealed that non-religious families are especially disadvantaged due to religious discrimination by state funded faith schools. The study, released this week by the charity Humanists UK, finds in many cases religiously selective faith schools prioritise applications for children from families of all religious backgrounds ahead of non-religious ones. The practice was found to take place at 40% of secondary faith schools in England.

The report questions the legality of such religious ranking. Schools that religiously rank pupils do so on the grounds that admitting children from families who adhere to certain and different denominations and religions will help it better uphold its religious ethos. Under the statutory School Admissions Code however, the admissions policy of state funded schools in England must be ‘fair’.

Humanists UK argues discriminatory selection criteria must therefore at least be proportionate and, given that a great many faith schools uphold their ethos without religiously selecting pupils or otherwise admitting a diverse intake, the practice is unnecessary and so unjustified. Most of these faith schools include ones of the same religion or domination as those that do religiously rank.

The report’s conclusions echo some findings from an investigation Accord undertook in 2015, which revealed that – due to a confluence of factors – families of South Asian heritage were indirectly racially discriminated against and systemically disadvantaged by England’s school system due to religiously selective schools.

Chair of the Accord Coalition, the Reverend Stephen Terry, said ‘Religious selection by schools not only undermines integration by separating families of different ethnicities from one another, but is increasingly having a corrosive impact on the life chances of some children according to their background. This may in fact already be unlawful but, rather than waiting for schools to be compelled to change, government and faith school providers should now take a lead and steer schools away from discrimination altogether. We should not need to rely on courts to tell us to prevent what we already know is unfair, unnecessary and damaging.’

One Response to Disadvantage in the school system for the non-religious highlighted

  1. John Ricketts on July 18, 2018 at 10:14 am

    So, if you bring up your child in a religious manner, that is greatly preferable to “not religious”. As far as some “faith” schools are concerned to be religious is good, never mind WHICH religion.

    Jonathan Swift, where are you now?

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