Attack on faith schools
A Church of England bishop has attacked faith schools for being havens for the faithful instead of serving the wider community.
According to an article in the Times educational supplement, the Rt Rev. John Pritchard, Bishop of Oxford, delivered an Easter message in which he said that schools should not discriminate on the basis of religion.
He went on to say that church schools should limit their ‘religious’ intake to no more than 10 per cent of pupils. The bishop’s argument seems to be that ‘social responsibility trumps theological purity’.
Liberal religious think-tank the Accord Coalition welcomed the recommendation to ‘reduce religious discrimination’ in Church of England schools.
Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain MBE, chairman of the Accord Coalition, said, ‘No state-funded school should be allowed to discriminate on the grounds of religion for any of their teacher posts or any pupil places. That way we will help create a society that is more inclusive and tolerant’.
More than 20 per cent of state-funded schools in England are CofE schools, and most of its secondary schools and almost 45 per cent of its primary and middle schools are able to select all of their pupils on religious grounds if they are sufficiently oversubscribed.