Government announces ten new religious Academies in order to meet ‘basic need’

The Department for Education has announced ten new religious Academies that will be built as part of its Targeted Basic Need Programme (TBNP), which is intend to establish new schools where there is a shortage of places. The British Humanist Association (BHA) has questioned how religious schools can seek to meet the basic need of the whole of their communities.

The ten schools include four established by Church of England dioceses, five established by Oasis Community Learning (which has a Christian ethos) and one established by another school that will also have a Christian ethos.

BHA Faith Schools Campaigner Richy Thompson commented, ‘Religious schools, by definition, seek to serve and meet the needs of members of a particular religion, to the exclusion of those with other religions and of no religion. The state funding of religious schools is therefore discriminatory and divisive. But it is even more surprising that the Government would choose to perpetuate such discrimination when it is looking to establish new schools are intended to meet a basic need for additional places.

‘We urge the Government to review its policy of establishing new religious schools.’

Full details of the new schools:

Local authority Project Phase Sponsor
Bradford Douglas Road – BD4 8QW Secondary Bradford Diocesan Academies Trust
Bristol Markesbury – BS3 5JL Primary Oasis Community Learning
Bristol Fairlawn Road – BS6 5JL Primary Colston’s Girls’ School Trust
Croydon Segas – CR0 1YL Primary Oasis Community Learning
Croydon South Norwood – SE25 4QL Secondary Oasis Community Learning
Hillingdon Yiewsley – UB7 9AE Primary London Diocesan Board for Schools Frays Academy Trust
Kent Isle of Sheppey – ME12 3GN Primary Oasis Community Learning
Plymouth Derriford – PL6 5AA Primary Diocese of Exeter
Sheffield Attercliffe – S9 3TL Primary Oasis Community Learning
Swindon Tadpole Farm – SN26 8DZ Primary Diocese of Bristol Academies Trust (DBAT)

In total 39 more schools were announced.

Notes

For further comment or information, please contact Richy Thompson at richy@humanism.org.uk or on 0781 55 89 636.

Read the Department for Education’s announcement: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/bt-mossbourne-academy-and-the-harris-federation-named-among-sponsors-of-new-academies

Read more about the BHA’s campaigns work on ‘faith’ schools: https://humanism.org.uk/campaigns/religion-and-schools/faith-schools

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.