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Voluntary Schools: Admissions

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL14689, tabled on 20 March 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact that voluntary-aided schools that select 100 per cent of their pupils based on faith will have on religious integration.

Answered on

2 April 2019

Many schools with faith-based admissions have diverse intakes, and many schools that don’t have faith based admissions have homogenous school populations. While faith schools are allowed to give priority to children of their faith, some choose to allocate only a certain percentage of their places with reference to faith in order to open up places to other children regardless of faith, and many do not have faith admissions criteria at all. Where there are sufficient places, faith schools must offer a place to every applicant regardless of faith.

The department undertook an extensive series of activities as part of the Schools that Work for Everyone consultation to understand the variety of opinions relating to faith schools. Having considered the views of respondents, and those of a range of other stakeholders, the department decided to establish the voluntary-aided capital scheme alongside retaining the 50% cap in faith admissions in faith designated free schools.

An analysis of how the voluntary-aided schools capital scheme will affect specific protected groups (equalities impact assessment) is attached and can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/voluntary-aided-schools-capital-scheme-equalities-impact-assessment.