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
"Any increase in 100% selective faith schools is a serious retrograde step for society, and a serious blow to freedom of thought for the children affected."
"Allowing schools to discriminate against students on the basis of their parents' religion is socially divisive and fosters intolerance towards people of other faiths. The government should be seeking to eliminate discrimination in the UK school system, not increase it."
"We are trying to raise our child to understand that the freedom to follow a religion, or to follow no religion, is a fundamental tenet of life in the UK. It is the mixing of beliefs and no beliefs that leads to an integrated and tolerant society. There is no better place for this than school. Our children will be deprived of exposure to people from a range of backgrounds and who hold a range of beliefs - this will not lead to integration but quite the opposite."