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Should faith schools expand?

1 October 2013

The role of faith schools continues to provoke debate. A recent report suggests that wider arguments are preventing faith schools which provide a good education for pupils to expand. The report states that faith schools promote race equality and community cohesion but that more could be done to support disadvantaged sections of society whilst preserving their religious character by amending admission arrangements. Opponents of the report suggest such an approach would not address the substantive issue of the divisive nature of faith education.

Whilst the role of religion in society is a worthwhile debate, the need to expand good schools to meet local need is a key strand of the policy to narrow the gap between the haves and have-nots. The ethos of the school should not be a key consideration whereas admission to the school from all sections of the community must be – to meet the obligations under the School Admissions Code 2012.

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