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London Assembly vote pits them against Number 10 plans for more religious selection in state schools

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City Hall. Photo: Garry Knight

The London Assembly has voted to oppose the Government’s plans for 100% religious selection in new state-funded religious schools in England.

The vote comes on the same day as a new poll from Populus has shown that 72% of the public are opposed to any religious selection in schools, including 63% of all Catholics and 82% of Muslims.

The motion, which was proposed by Tom Copley AM, asks for the Deputy Mayor to investigate the effects of the new proposals on the diversity of London’s schools, citing the serious evidence which shows religious selection in schools to damage community cohesion in terms of religion, ethnicity, and social class.

In the motion, the London Assembly voted to recognise that ‘The Government’s own data show that religious schools which are 100% selective by faith are less diverse in terms of both race and social class than religious schools where the 50% cap is in place.’

BHA Chief Executive Andrew Copson commented, ‘London is the most diverse part of England. Here, more than anywhere else, politicians and the public are aware of the desperate need for our schools to bring people together and not divide them. It’s very welcome news to see the London Assembly standing up the Government’s divisive plans, which all evidence shows will alienate children from each other and fracture our society.’

Notes

For further comment or information, please contact Sarah Gillam on sarah@humanism.org.uk or on 07880 857 146.

Since 2010, new religious schools in England have only been permitted to religiously select on 50% of their places. Research has shown that this measure has dramatically improved integration and reduced segregation. The lifting of the 50% cap has been lobbied for Roman Catholic and Jewish groups, and the Government announced their intention to lift it alongside new grammar school proposals.

New poll shows public opposition to religious selection in schools: https://humanism.org.uk/2016/11/02/strong-majority-opposed-to-plans-for-school-admissions-on-basis-of-religion/

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. https://www.humanism.org.uk/

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