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New poll finds huge opposition to Government’s plans for more discriminatory faith schools

Posted: Tue, 30 May 2017 14:16

New poll finds huge opposition to Government’s plans for more discriminatory faith schools

Government plans to allow new faith schools to discriminate on religious grounds by selecting all of their pupils on the basis of faith have attracted mass public opposition, a poll has found.

A Populus survey commissioned by the Accord Coalition found that just 20% of the public say that "New state funded faith schools should be allowed to select up to 100% of their pupils on the basis of faith."

Just 21% of Anglicans support the new policy, but 43% of Muslims and 55% of Jews support it. Sample sizes for minority faiths are small, however.

The policy was introduced with particular regard to Catholic Schools, but just one-in-three Catholics think taxpayer-funded schools should be able to discriminate in all of their admissions.

Unsurprisingly, jut 15% of 'nones' support the change.

Respondents were asked whether they supported the current cap which limits religious admissions for oversubscribed schools to 50%, or whether they preferred the removal of this cap to allow 100% religious discrimination.

The survey follows a November 2016 survey, also commissioned by the Accord Coalition, which found 72% of respondents - including clear majorities of every religion and belief group - opposed state funded faith schools being able to select or discriminate against prospective pupils on religious grounds in their admissions policies.

At the end of 2016 the National Secular Society responded to the Government's consultation on the proposed changes, saying replacement measures to "promote inclusivity" will do little or nothing once the current cap is gone.

NSS campaigns director Stephen Evans said: "The existing admissions cap of 50% is a half-measure at best, but it is the only meaningful protection to stop total discrimination in faith schools. These are schools that every taxpayer funds and they should not be allowed to discriminate on religious grounds at all."

Find out more: Help us to oppose plans for a new wave of 100% religiously selective schools

Tags: Poll, Faith Schools, Catholic Church, Education, Statistics