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
"Abolishing the cap is a discriminatory, regressive small-minded measure that encourages isolated communities and prejudice."
"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."
"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."