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Reducing segregation in faith schools

22 October 2013

A report from the British Humanist Society has highlighted a number of examples of ethnic segregation at faith schools and sets out a concern that this may underpin further tension in wider society. It notes that in a number of schools established by minority religious groups there are no recorded examples of pupils of other ethnic backgrounds being in attendance. The report attempts to compare this against the 13,000 non-faith schools, the vast majority of which do attract and admit pupils from a variety of ethnic and religious backgrounds.

As a number of free schools are being formed by religious groups, the government is requiring that 50% of admissions must be on a non-faith basis. Whilst this may be seen as a positive move, government action is clearly not the only factor to be considered. Parental preference is the cornerstone of the admissions system and therefore parents need to be informed on faith schools and what they stand for. Without such information, it is unlikely that the alleged problem of segregation will be removed.

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