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Even parents choosing faith schools don’t do it for religious reasons

A YouGov survey published today has revealed that only a quarter of all parents say they would be likely to send their child to a “faith” school, compared to 59% of those surveyed who would not. Currently in the UK around a third of all schools have a religious character, suggesting that too many “faith” schools are created despite their low public demand.

Of the parents who would choose a “faith” schools, they overwhelmingly do so for their academic results (77%), rather than the schools’ ethos (23%), ability to ground children in a faith tradition (5%) or to promote a belief in God (3%) when asked to list factors they would consider. The survey also revealed that, regardless of their political affiliation, only one third of all people would support state funding for “faith” schools, whilst nearly half would disapprove.

Pavan Dhaliwal, Head of Public Affairs at the British Humanist Association, commented ‘”Faith” schools unfairly discriminate against families of other religions or beliefs and it is clear that the public has also recognised this. They are unpopular amongst the public and should not be funded by the state. Much better for a cohesive shared society would be schools where children from all different backgrounds can learn and grow together.’

Notes
For further comment or information contact Pavan Dhaliwal, Head of Public Affairs at pavan@humanism.org.uk or on 0773 843 5059.

YouGov survey for the Westminster Faith Debates: http://www.religionandsociety.org.uk/news/show/new_poll_reveals_what_people_really_think_about_faith_schools

The BHA’s position on “faith” schools: https://humanism.org.uk/education/education-policy/faith-schools-why-not/

The Fair Admissions Campaign: http://fairadmissions.org.uk/

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.

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