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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

Religious discrimination spotted in Guernsey

A deputy in the Guernsey deliberative assembly seems surprised to discover that Catholic schools practice religious discrimination in selecting pupils. Deputy John Gollop has also called for the funding of such schools by the taxpayer to be reviewed.

He was speaking in response to a ruling last week by a States review board to dismiss a complaint about the admission policy for Catholic school Notre Dame. Deputy Gollop said the state should not be supporting single religious groups.

The review board dismissed claims by one parent that a decision over the school’s admission policy was contrary to law and would not have been made by a reasonable body of persons after proper consideration of all the facts.

Deputy Gollop said: “I’m disappointed the panel didn’t support the principle of parental choice and endorsed a principle that a secular education department funded by the taxpayer can only admit children baptised into a particular domination. That denomination isn’t even the established state religion of Guernsey.

“The taxpayer by implication is under government edict allowing two schools on the island to only admit children who are baptised as babies when those babies had no choice in the matter.”

Guernsey is a self-governing state, not part of the United Kingdom.

Published Fri, 19 Aug 2011