Ken Clarke joins Accord

February 22, 2021

The Accord Coalition has today welcomed Lord Clarke of Nottingham as its newest Distinguished Supporter. Lord Clarke has served in numerous Ministerial roles including Chancellor of the Exchequer, Home Secretary and Education Secretary, over a parliamentary career spanning over five decades.

Explaining his motivation for supporting Accord’s campaign against religiously divisive and segregatory practices in the school system, Lord Clarke said, ‘I am sure that society as well as all children benefit if they are raised in a reasonably diverse and not too closed a community as they are educated.’

Chair of the Accord Coalition, the Revd Stephen Terry, said ‘Lord Clarke is right to emphasise value in ensuring schools facilitate pupils learning and growing with those from different backgrounds. Religious segregation in the school system allows mistrust between groups to grow more readily, whereas mixing on these grounds makes a very positive contribution towards social cohesion. Given Britain’s increasing religious and ethnic diversity, this is only becoming more relevant and important.’

‘I am delighted to welcome Lord Clarke as Accord’s newest Distinguished Supporter. He helps further strengthen our voice and demonstrate the breadth of support for religiously inclusive education.’

The Accord Coalition’s list of Distinguished Supporters hold varying religious, political, and professional affiliations, but are united in wanting state funded schools to be open and accessible for people of different religious and non-religious beliefs. The list includes:

•       Professor Jim Al-Khalili OBE, theoretical physicist, author and Science broadcaster
•       Lord Baker of Dorking, former Education Secretary (1986-1989)
•       Professor Ted Cantle CBE, national expert on community cohesion and inter-cultural relations
•       Bishop David Gillett, former Bishop of Bolton
•       Professor Becky Francis, national expert on education and social justice
•       Lord Knight of Weymouth, Minister of State for Schools (2006-2009)
•       Dan Snow, popular historian and TV presenter
•       Polly Toynbee, author and journalist

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