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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

Wakefield, Middlesbrough & Hartlepool latest to scrap “faith school” transport subsidies

Local Councils in Wakefield, West Yorkshire and Hartlepool are consulting on scrapping discretionary free bus passes for children who choose to attend a religious school rather than the nearest school to their home. Wakefield anticipates it will have to save £67m over the next four years.

Hartlepool Borough Council anticipates saving £100,000 a year when it cuts the transport subsidy. The move would affect 340 pupils at English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College.

Middlesbrough Council says it can save £350,000 over six years by stopping faith school transport subsidies (beyond those required statutorily). The local Catholic Diocese similarly maintains it to be an “abuse of human rights” for the Church not to be paid large amount of taxpayers’ money to indoctrinate children. The council is consulting at the moment.

In all cases the churches have launched blistering attacks on what it describes as “discrimination” that they claim is being practised against “people of faith”.

Published Fri, 25 Nov 2011