FAO: Damian Hinds MP, Secretary of State for Education
Dear Mr Hinds,
We (the signatories to this petition) urge you to end discrimination in faith school admissions.
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
"Your family practising a different faith should not determine whether or not a child should have access to a good education. This segregation based on faith is incredibly unhealthy, not just for children, but also for society in general."
"Segregation, sectarianism, division lead to myopia, intolerance, extremist groups and destabilise society, communities, services."
"I fail to understand why we have faith schools at all. If we must persist in having them, we should avoid their becoming islands of insularity. This can only be possible by allowing children with different backgrounds in schools to reflect the society in which they're based. Anything else is ludicrous and potentially dangerous. Keep the cap."