The National Union of Teachers (NUT) has called for a ban on faith groups running schools in the UK. With most media reports concentrating on the NUT’s opposition to Standard Assessment Tests (SATs) for primary school children, little attention was given to its stance on religious control of schools.
The NUT’s annual conference debated the motion that: ‘Religious groups, of whatever faith, should have no place in the control and management of schools’. This follows a call from the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) to scrap the requirement for teachers to hold daily assemblies with a broadly Christian character.
The supporters of the NUT motion claim that faith school admissions policies create ‘segregated schooling’. The NUT’s antagonism comes despite official government evidence that faith schools often out-perform their non-religious counterparts.
Christian and Jewish schools made up two thirds of the primary schools receiving ‘perfect’ results in the league tables published last week, though they only make up a third of all schools.
Representatives of the country’s 7,000 faith schools insist they should not be forced to drop their religious ethos, arguing that this is why they perform so well.