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 society is increasingly non-religious but those who practice a religion are becoming more and more polarised. Educating children separately, based on their parents' beliefs, only encourages this. And the majority in our society, the non-believers, are offered a restricted choice of schools, thus discriminating against them."
"My grand daughter cannot get into her local school because she is not a catholic. Is it any wonder we have a divided nation when we force divisions on 5-year old children?"
"It's a fact that there are many different religions as well as non-religions in our society. I believe that educating children of different religions together will help to reduce conflict between religions. Please keep the 50% cap. Thank you."