Fighting discrimination in school admissions
The Fair Admissions Campaign has been launched to speak out against the selective entry policies of faith schools
A new campaign launched by the British Humanist Association in coalition with a number of secular and religious organisations aims to end religious discrimination in school admissions in England and Wales.
The Fair Admissions Campaign, whose supporters include the Accord Coalition, the Christian think tank Ekklesia, British Muslims for Secular Democracy and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, argues that faith-based admissions policies are discriminatory, while also contributing to religious, ethnic and socio-economic division in towns and cities.
The Campaign has the support of Professor Ted Cantle, author of the Cantle Report into the 2001 riots in Burnley, Bradford and Oldham, whose research has found that faith schools have a divisive effect within communities. On the launch of the Fair Admissions Campaign, he said:
"One of the key issues which the world now faces is 'how we live together in an era of globalised and diverse communities?' It must be clear – especially from recent events – that so many of the tensions and conflicts in the UK and elsewhere are based upon faith and ethnic divisions. Our communities remain riven by the differences which we should be learning to set aside. Religiously selective schools cannot of course be held solely responsible for these problems, but they do underpin a system in which children learn that they are 'different' and in which everyday contact is denied. They do not build friendships with 'others' and the separation of children within schools reinforces wider divisions, as parents do not meet at the school gate and families are not drawn together through shared sporting and cultural events."
You can learn more about Campaign and find out how to get involved on its website.