Celebrities hit out at plans for new faith schools

Celebrities, politicians and some of the UK’s leading thinkers have united to fight a plan for a new wave of single-faith schools, which they say “fundamentally threatens social cohesion”. Tes reports.

Writer Ian McEwan, film director Ken Loach, broadcaster Baroness (Joan) Bakewell and philosopher AC Grayling are among the signatories to a letter in The Sunday Times  yesterday. Other big names to sign the letter include Sandi Toksvig, David Baddiel and Stephen Fry.

The letter states: “State schools should be inclusive, diverse and integrated, not exclusive, monocultural or segregated.”

It adds: “We urge the government to abandon its plans to create these schools. Instead we ask that all new schools are inclusive and welcoming to all children, irrespective of family background.”

In March, the Department for Education published details of 14 proposed new voluntary-aided schools which would be able to select all their pupils on the basis of their faith. They included Catholic, Church of England, Muslim, Hindu and Jewish schools.

The bids for funding were submitted after the government controversially made free-school funding available for new voluntary-aided schools, which would be able select all pupils on religious grounds.

Read more Celebrities hit out at plans for new faith schools

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