To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they intend to take to ensure that measures designed to prevent voluntary-aided schools that select 100 per cent of their pupils based on faith from having a detrimental impact on social cohesion, such as school linking programmes and religious diversity on governing bodies, are implemented and maintained once those schools have opened.
29 March 2019
Schools play a vital role in promoting integration and encouraging greater community cohesion and this includes faith schools.
The Integrated Communities Strategy made clear the important role schools play in knitting communities together. All state funded schools, whatever their type, have a legal obligation to promote community cohesion and to teach a broad and balanced curriculum, and are under a duty to foster good relations between different groups. They are also required to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs. Their effectiveness in doing so is inspected by Ofsted.
Many existing faith schools have a strong record on promoting integration and the department encourages them, as well as all new schools, to engage in programmes such as school linking, that promote social mixing within and across schools. The department is taking forward over 20 measures across its portfolio to support the sector to promote integration, as set out in the Integrated Communities Action Plan. This can be accessed at:
This document is also attached.