Fracturing our communities: a third of free school applications are from faith groups

Francis Gilbert's picture
The Times Educational Supplement highlighted today an answer to a Parliamentary question. I quote:

"More than a third of free-school applicants to the Government are from faith groups, according to official figures. Responding to a parliamentary question by Labour peer Lord Beecham last week, schools minister Lord Hill said 115 out of 323 proposals had a faith ethos."

Let's stop pretending the free school movement is about raising standards. It's not, it's about fostering social and religious segregation. When a free school proposal is not "faith-based", it's invariably about a particular social group wishing to have their children from their particular social class or ethnicity educated separately from the local community. Our schools are already very segregated, with three quarters of children on Free School Meals educated in a quarter of schools, and the top achieving schools having fewer than 5% FSM pupils, but it's clear that the Free School movement is going to make things much, much worse.
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Billy no Mates's picture
Fri, 01/04/2011 - 16:07

What drives this segregation? Is it in our DNA as a society to be this awful? I don't understand why otherwise good people set about destroying the aspirations and dreams of the young. We preach in school about civil rights and all God’s children but then we split them into little lines not too far removed from 1930s Berlin. I think we are all guilty to a point of turning the other cheek. It's all very well participating in virtual debate - let's begin shouting from the heart for change!

Change for our children!

Change, to put the happiness back into childhood!

Big Jim's picture
Tue, 05/04/2011 - 14:06

It seems ironic that at a time when David Cameron is bemoaning ethnic minorities failure to integrate he is expanding the number of faith schools which makes integration of pupils virtually impossible in many areas. In my local authority there are so many faith schools that almost all non-christians (mainly muslims) end up attending schools that are between 70 and 99.99% muslim.

The only faith schools around here that accept non-christian pupils are those that otherwise could not fill their places. They then permit some non-christians to attend but tend to be very selective about which. Why they are allowed to cream off the brighter non-christians when they feel like it but not let them in when they don't need them is a mystery to me.

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