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
"Schools should not be able to discriminate on any grounds. It should be against the law."
"As a parent of a child in a school which is currently at risk of losing its secular status for the sake of a lease agreement in a proposed merger I want to see this cap to taken to zero. There should be no religious discrimination in the education system. Everyone should be welcome."
"The law does not allow discrimination by gender, nationality or sexuality. It should not allow discrimination by religious choice either, nor should it allow anyone to act outside the law by hiding under the 'security blanket' of religion."