Faith Schools

Thank you for contacting me about faith schools.

All children deserve the best education, wherever they live and whatever their background. Every family in Rushcliffe should be able to access a good school. That is why I welcome measures announced to create more places across the diverse school system, giving families greater choice and raising standards for pupils.

Currently one in three state-funded schools are faith based. They have a strong record of high pupil attainment and are often very popular with parents. Many are good or outstanding and I know that more want to open. The 50 per cent cap on faith admissions for free schools will remain in place, but the Department for Education will help to create new voluntary-aided schools to meet local demand for faith schools. The voluntary-aided route already allows for schools to apply to open with up to 100 per cent faith-based admissions. It is important to note that when admitting pupils, faith schools may only use faith-based selection criteria if they are oversubscribed.

I can assure you that all schools are expected to fulfil their legal obligations under the Equality Act 2010, to promote community cohesion and to teach a broad and balanced curriculum. Indeed, faith schools, as with all other schools, are expected to be inclusive and play an active role in their communities, as well as promote integration and an understanding of different faiths and communities. Work must continue to support faith schools in promoting integration.

Thank you again for contacting me on this matter.