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Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Faith school expansion plans are 'shameful', say secular campaigners

Secular campaigners have criticised reports that ministers are considering making it easier for the Church of England to take control of state-funded schools.
The British Humanist Association (BHA) has written to the education secretary, Michael Gove, describing the plans as "the single most threatening development in the area of faith schools since their expansion began in 2001".
The criticism follows a report that the government is preparing to smooth the path for community schools that wish to opt out of local authority control and become academies backed by the Anglican church. At present, there have to be separate consultations dealing with academy and faith status, but the government is looking at combining these in a single step, according to the Times Educational Supplement.
According to tThe TES reported that the church was also looking at fostering looser partnerships with schools that would not take on a faith designation.
The BHA's chief executive, Andrew Copson, said: "If the church and the government have their way and their ambitions are realised, the church will become the single largest provider of schools, totally funded by the state. That risks a majority of schools being allowed to discriminate religiously in employment, discriminate religiously in admissions, and teach curricula skewed towards Christianity across the board. Read more...

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