iNews reports that the Church of England is “miss-selling” how inclusive its schools are to parents who are not from the Christian faith, according to research. A study of 40 dioceses across England has shown that the vast majority -35 – do not advise their schools to refrain from selecting their pupils on the basis of their faith.
This is despite frequent public claims made by officials of the Church that CofE schools are moving towards a more open door policy of admissions and away from faith-based selection, it claims.
The report published by the Accord Coalition on behalf of the Fair Admissions Campaign (FAC) says that the CofE is failing to encourage its state schools to be inclusive of all children “irrespective of religion or belief”. “
Our research shows that, at best, the inclusive assertions by national Church figures are inaccurate and therefore misleading,” the document states. “By deflecting attention away from schools practising religious discrimination, such comments present a false image and encourage complacency.”
The Church is one of the biggest players in state education, teaching around 1m pupils in England and Wales. It runs 4,500 primary schools – around one in four in the sector – and 200 secondary schools.
The Revd Stephen Terry, who is a member of the Accord Coalition said: “It is profoundly disappointing that only five dioceses seem to have grasped multi-cultural society. Christians and other faith groups have to respond to this reality.”
Responding to the report, Rev Nigel Genders, Chief Education Officer for the Church of England said the Church did not recognise the findings.
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