New Hindu faith schools proposed, despite warnings of worsening ethnic segregation

Posted: Mon, 07 Nov 2016

New Hindu faith schools proposed, despite warnings of worsening ethnic segregation

The latest wave of free school applications includes proposals for seven new Hindu schools.

Details of applicants proposing to open a free school in the 11th round of applications include several with a faith ethos, with Hindu, Christian and an Islamic school among the proposals.

The seven Hindu schools, if approved, would be built in Barnet, Birmingham, Brent, Hertsmere, Hounslow, Leicester and Redbridge.

The proposal comes from Avanti Schools Trust, which already runs five Hindu schools.

The Trust claims that "students with or without a faith background are always welcome at all Avanti Schools."

But one Avanti primary school says it puts the "development of spiritual insight" at "the heart of the curriculum" and draws "on the teachings of Krishna Chaitanya".

The school's website says that "spiritual insight will be achieved" through "singing of the names of the divine, with special but not exclusive focus on Krishna."

NSS campaigns director Stephen Evans said: "It is hard to imagine how these schools will have any broad appeal beyond the Hindu community.

"We regularly have cases of parents being assigned to faith schools against their wishes and if these schools do end up being undersubscribed then that is a risk.

"Just last week Professor Ted Cantle was warning about worsening ethnic segregation in communities across the country and the exodus of white Britons from many areas, drastically reducing contact between ethnic and religious groups.

"Schools with such a religious focus will accelerate this phenomenon. As Professor Cantle said, we need diverse schools, not schools that primarily cater to one religious and, de facto, one ethnic group."

Other schools seeking approval include over twenty Christian schools and one Islamic faith schools for girls.

Tags: Education, Faith Schools, academisation