We (the signatories to this petition) urge the Secretary of State for Education (and education ministers for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) to end discrimination in faith school admissions.
In England and Wales voluntary aided schools and academies with a religious character are given special exemptions from equality law that allow them to discriminate against pupils whose families do not share the faith of the school. This is unfair, unnecessary and fuels segregation in our society.
In a society as diverse as ours, rather than facilitating segregation along religious lines, the Government should be doing everything it can to ensure that children of all faiths and none are educated together in inclusive schools.
If the Government wishes to "promote inclusivity", it is clear that facilitating religiously selective schools is, by definition, inimical to this aim.
We therefore urge you to consider ways of ending religious discrimination and segregation in our schools – rather than extending it, as proposals to open more 100% selective voluntary aided schools would.
Please rethink these proposals and instead ensure that all of our schools are open and inclusive, catering for all local children regardless of their families' religious or non-religious beliefs.
A selection of petition signatures
"Our schools should promote cohesion, not religious apartheid."
"In our increasingly diverse society, we need to foster an environment of understanding between our differing communities. If we do not allow our children to encounter people and ideas that are different to their own, they may well never come to understand that we all have some common values. By encouraging segregation for whatever reason, we create a 'them and us' atmosphere that can only seriously limit any chance of social cohesion."
"This is pure discrimination. It is not ok to use religious belief (and the belief of the parent at that, not the child), to hide behind discrimination."