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Faith Schools: Admissions

Question for Department for Education

UIN 33104, tabled on 14 July 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of pupils unable to access their nearest school because of religiously selective admissions.

Answered on

23 July 2021

The majority of parents are offered a place at a school of their choice. In 2021, 98% of parents received an offer from one of their top three choices of primary school, while 93.4% received offers from one of their top three choices of secondary school.

The Department has not made an estimate of the number of pupils with no reasonable choice other than to attend a faith school due to a lack of secular provision in their area, or an estimate of the number of pupils unable to access their nearest school because of religiously selective admissions.

Local authorities have a duty to provide sufficient school places in their area. Faith schools have played an important role in our education system for many years. Faith schools are popular with parents and are more likely than other schools to be rated by Ofsted as Good or Outstanding.

Faith schools are allowed to give priority to children of their faith where they are oversubscribed. Of those that do, some choose to allocate only a certain percentage of their places with reference to faith, while others do not have faith admissions criteria at all.