Research published today by the Sutton Trust has reported that 6% of parents across England and 11% in London claim they attend church regularly in order to get their children into church-controlled schools. The figures, which are for parents with children aged 5-16, compare with 12% of British adults self-reporting as attending religious services weekly, and recorded weekly church attendance in England of under 6%. Both of these figures are likely to be lower amongst the parent-age population.
British Humanist Association Chief Executive Andrew Copson commented, ‘Nationally, just 6% of people regularly attend church, so parents playing the system actually constitute a significant proportion of “worshippers”. This must surely be an embarrassment to the churches in question, though it certainly helps explain why they are so desperate to keep control of these state schools. The fact that admission to schools 100% funded by the taxpayer is dependent on religious worship is scandalous and religion needs to cease being admissions criteria to state schools immediately.’
For further comment or information, please contact Richy Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0781 55 89 636.
The Sutton Trust’s findings are based on a survey by YouGov conducted in November 2012 of 1,173 English parents with children aged 5-16 years. Read the Sutton Trust’s research: http://www.suttontrust.com/our-work/research/item/parent-power/
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.