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Supreme Court finds school’s admissions policies contravene race equality law


The British Humanist Association (BHA) has welcomed today’s Supreme Court ruling that the admissions criteria to the Jews’ Free School (JFS) in Kenton contravene the Race Relations Act 1976, describing the judgment as ‘of immense importance.’ The judgment upholds an earlier ruling by the Court of Appeal.

Andrew Copson, BHA Director of Education and Public Affairs, said, ‘This judgment is immensely important. It puts beyond doubt the position that, even though there may be a religious motivation for doing so, discrimination against children in admissions on racial grounds is illegal under any circumstances.

‘This is not a matter of restricting “religious freedom” or otherwise; that the admissions criteria of a state-funded faith school have been found to be racially discriminatory should be enough impetus to look carefully at the criteria all faith schools use to discriminate in their admissions.

‘Faith schools are almost entirely state funded in the main. 60 years ago religious groups provided a lot of funding for their state funded schools, it was a genuine partnership, and so they’ve retained certain control over admissions. But these days 100% of the running costs are paid by the state and so there’s absolutely no reason why what is essentially a public service should be denied to any children whatever their beliefs or the beliefs of their parents.’


For further comment or information, contact Andrew Copson on 020 7079 3584 or 07534 248596.

The British Humanist Association (BHA) is the national charity representing and supporting the non-religious, campaigning for an end to religious privilege and to discrimination based on religion or belief and is the largest organisation in the UK working for a secular society. In education, this means an end to the expansion of faith schools and for the assimilation of those that currently exist into a system of inclusive and accommodating community schools.


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