• Faith Schools

    02 May 2019

    Dear Constituent,

    Thank you for contacting me about faith schools.

    All children deserve the best education, wherever they live and whatever their background. Every family in Central Devon should be able to access a good school. That is why I welcome the measures announced to create more places across the diverse school system, giving families greater choice and raising standards for pupils.

    Currently one in three state-funded schools are faith based.  Many are good or outstanding and I know that more want to open. The 50 per cent cap on faith admissions for free schools will remain in place, but the Department for Education will help to create new voluntary-aided schools to meet local demand for faith schools. The voluntary-aided route already allows for schools to apply to open with up to 100 per cent faith based admissions. It is important to note that when admitting pupils, faith schools may only use faith-based selection criteria if they are oversubscribed.

    I can assure you that all schools are expected to fulfil their legal obligations under the Equality Act 2010, to promote community cohesion and to teach a broad and balanced curriculum. Indeed, faith schools, as with all other schools, are expected to be inclusive and play an active role in their communities, as well as promote integration and an understanding of different faiths and communities. I know the Department for Education will continue to work closely with faith schools to promote and support integration.

    Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

    Yours sincerely,

    Mel Stride MP

    MP for Central Devon

    Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General