The 2012 Free Schools have been announced
October 18th, 2011
BHA Faith Schools Campaigner Richy Thompson talks about where things go from here with the ‘faith’ Free Schools due to open next year. We’re currently fundraising to support the dedicated and unique post of Campaigns Officer (Faith Schools and Education) for another year. We’ve raised over 50% towards our target and we need your help to meet it – anything you can give really will make a difference. Please support us at http://justgiving.com/nofaithschools/
Last week the ‘second wave’ of Free Schools scheduled to open in 2012 were announced by the Department for Education. Sixty-three schools are planned. A bit of good news was that Everyday Champions Church’s bid for a creationist school was rejected, along with 53 other ‘faith’ school bids. Unfortunately, twelve of the sixty-three accepted – one in five – are ‘faith’ schools. That is not quite as bad as the first wave where nearly half have a religious ethos but nonetheless, that’s twelve too many.
That’s not the end of the story…
There are still opportunities to stop these schools from opening – we’re working on it but we need your help building local campaigns! In particular, each school must hold a consultation on whether they will open.
The twelve proposed schools are:
- St Michael’s Catholic Secondary School in Truro, Cornwall, already in existence as a private school
- Emmanuel Community School, a Christian primary school in Waltham Forest
- Enfield Primary School, a Christian school
- Grindon Hall Free School, an all-through Christian school in Sunderland already in existence as a private school
- Barrow 1618, a primary school in Shropshire
- Becket Keys Church School, a Church of England secondary school in Brentwood, Essex
- North Ealing Church of England Academy, a secondary school
- St Chaitanya’s School, a Hindu all-through school in Harrow
- Golders Green Jewish Primary School in Barnet
- An Noor School, a Muslim all-through school in Derby
- Tauheedul Islam Boys’ High School, a secondary school in Blackburn
- A Sikh secondary school being set up by the Nishkam School Trust in Birmingham
In addition, Frome Steiner Academy, an all-through school in Somerset, is also look set to become the second state-funded Steiner school.
If you live locally to one of the schools, do get in touch with me at [email protected] and we’ll see what we can do together to take action against these projects. Please also write to your local papers, challenging the plans, and let us know you’ve done so.
Beyond that, there are still ‘faith’ schools being established through the traditional routes as Voluntary Aided, Voluntary Controlled or Foundation schools – for example, Richmond Inclusive Schools Campaign is fighting proposals to open both a Catholic secondary and primary in the London borough. And we’re already seeing groups announce their proposals for ‘third wave’ Free Schools to open from 2013. For example, Everyday Champions Church has vowed to come back with another proposal, and Sevenoaks Christian School, Sheffield Christian Free School and Durham Free School have all been gathering support for some time.
Together we can work to stop these schools. Let me know if you’d like to get involved by emailing me at the address above.
The BHA is fundraising to continue its campaign against ‘faith’ schools. Please donate today at http://justgiving.com/nofaithschools/
For further comment or information, please contact Richy Thompson on 020 7462 4993.
The British Humanist Association is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. It promotes a secular state and equal treatment in law and policy of everyone, regardless of religion or belief.