The Department for Education (DfE) has today announced the approval of 102 new Free Schools due to open from September 2014. This includes 25 new religious schools, as well as one Steiner school. The British Humanist Association (BHA) has expressed regret at the continuing increase in the number of ‘faith’ schools.
The 25 new schools include 15 schools formally designated with a religious character and ten schools with a ‘faith ethos’. The DfE are yet to publish the details of each proposal’s religion, or any details about rejected proposals – it intends to publish this information at the end of June (although the BHA is currently fighting for earlier release in the future).
However, the BHA believes it has been able to identify the religion of 24 of the 25 schools. These are listed below.
BHA Faith Schools Campaigner Richy Thompson commented, ‘We are deeply concerned to see the number of state-funded religious schools in England continue to rise. These schools are allowed to select all their teachers and up to half their pupils in the basis of their faith. They are also free to set their own curriculum, teaching from an unshared, narrow perspective that is inappropriate to some pupils.
‘Every school should be equally inclusive to all pupils and staff, regardless of religion or belief. We will continue to campaign to make this ideal the reality.’
The full list of schools:
Church of England (2):
- Burlington Danes Primary Academy in Hammersmith and Fulham
- St Mary’s Church of England Primary School in Ealing
Roman Catholic (2):
- Holy Trinity International School, an all-through former private school in Worcestershire
- Trinity Academy, a secondary school in Lambeth
- Burnley High School, a secondary school in Lancashire proposed by Chapel St.
- Canary Wharf College 2, A primary school in Tower Hamlets
- Chetwynde School, an all-through former private school in Cumbria
- Jubilee Primary School, a primary school in Kent
- Oasis Academy Romford, a primary school in Havering
- Oasis Academy Silvertown, a secondary school in Newham
- Oasis Community School Walthamstow, a secondary school in Walthamstow
- Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, Blackburn, an all-through former private school
- Raynes Park Community School, a primary school in Merton proposed by Chapel St.
- Transforming Lives for Good (TLG) Bradford, a secondary alternative provision school
- Walthamstow Primary Academy in Waltham Forest, proposed by the United Learning Trust
- Bolton Free School, a secondary school
- Coventry Leadership Academy for Girls, a secondary school
- Slough Girls’ Leadership Academy, a secondary school
- The Birmingham Free School, a secondary school
- The Preston Free School, a secondary school
- Waltham Forest Leadership Academy for Girls, a secondary school
- Khalsa Engineering Academy, a primary school in Bradford
- Falcons’ Primary School, Leicester
- Seva School, an all-through school in Coventry
In addition, the DfE have also approved Steiner Academy Bristol, an all-through proposal. Finally, the recently announced London Design and Engineering University Technical College in Newham will be co-sponsored by the Diocese of Chelmsford, making it the first with religious sponsorship.
The BHA cannot fully guarantee the accuracy of this list but believes it to be accurate at time of writing.
For further comment or information, please contact Richy Thompson on 020 7324 3072.
Read the Government’s announcement: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/more-than-100-free-schools-applications-approved
See the full list of proposals: http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/leadership/typesofschools/freeschools/b00222077/pre-opening
The BHA has campaigned for a full list of Free School proposals to be published, including unsuccessful proposals, along with their faith. This information was ultimately published in February for the first three years of the programme: http://humanism.org.uk/2013/03/22/majority-of-identifiable-free-school-proposals-from-2011-13-were-religious/ and will be published for the latest proposals towards the end of June.
Read more about the BHA’s campaigns work on ‘faith’ schools: https://humanism.org.uk/campaigns/religion-and-schools/faith-schools
View the BHA’s table of types of school with a religious character: https://humanism.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/schools-with-a-religious-character.pdf
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.