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If you think the 50% cap on faith-based admissions should stay in places, it's time to write to your MP(6 Posts)
There have been loads of threads in the past about the 50% cap on faith-based admissions, which has applied to all the new faith academies and free schools established since 2010. If you're not familiar with it then there's a good Wikipedia article here which gives a lot of background: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_50%25_Rule
Theresa May's manifesto said that she would
ignore the responses to the Schools That Work for Everyone consultation and remove the cap, but it's all gone very quiet since she was elected with a hung parliament, and the main driving force behind it (Nick Timothy) is no longer her chief advisor.
An announcement is long overdue. A cross-party group of MPs has now started an Early Day Motion (which is a sort of petition for MPs) to say the 50% Rule should be kept. MPs need to be prodded to sign EDMs by their constituents, so if you feel strongly on this, now is a good time to write to them. If you don't have time to write your own letter then the Accord Coalition (campaign group) has made it easy by setting up a template letter: accordcoalition.org.uk/2017/11/10/mps-urge-government-not-to-jettison-anti-discrimination-cap-at-faith-schools/.
It's worth adding that unlike the Grammar School debate, the removal of this cap doesn't need a vote in the house of commons or any change in legislation. The Government can just go ahead and do it if they want to. They just need to change the Admissions Code and the template funding agreements for new faith schools.
It's going to be interesting to see how they proceed, because there is solid evidence that the cap is doing the job it was intended to do, and is popular with the vast majority parents.
I know many people out there think the Government should go further and ban faith-based admissions altogether, but if even this small and unprecedented step in the right direction can't survive then there's little hope for more radical reforms.
The removal of the cap is mostly to encourage the Catholic Church or Jewish leadership, who are far as I am aware have not opened a free school, due to them having to offer community places.
Yes, that's right, but they're just holding the government to ransom. The CES are claiming Canon Law prevents them from opening schools with community places, but if it did then the vast majority of Catholic schools around the world would be breaking Canon Law. It's ridiculous.
And yet the Chair of the CES is on record as saying "“The Church of England runs schools for the wider community ..... Ours are different. They are for the Catholic community".
Blimey. Not sure what happened there. Let me post that again with added spaces....
The Catholic International Education Office - which is the umbrella body for over 100 national catholic education organisations around the world, including the CES - is on record as saying that a "Catholic school is an inclusive school, founded in inter cultural and interreligious dialogue. A non discriminatory school, open to all, especially the poorest…[It]is anything but a communitarian school. It is open to all."
Paddington - there are loads of Jewish free schools. I think it's the Catholics that have the problem with the 50percent cap.
You're right that there are already some Jewish free schools, but Paddington is also right that some leaders of the Jewish community have been backing up the Catholic Education Service's call for a removal of the cap. E.g. see this article.