Faith school ‘admissions by flower arranging’ eradicated in England

The Guardian is reporting claims that admission arrangements prioritising places for children whose parents help with flower arranging, cleaning or maintenance at church have been eradicated from faith schools in England.

The British Humanist Association (BHA) and the Fair Admissions Campaign (FAC) said their efforts have forced all schools to drop such criteria from admissions policies after they lodged a series of objections with the Office of the Schools Adjudicator (OSA).

Making the announcement on national offer day… the BHA and FAC said “selection by flower arranging” has been eradicated.

It emerged on Tuesday that a BHA-FAC objection to the admission arrangements of what they described as “the last known school to prioritise children in this way” – Emmaus Church of England and Catholic school in Liverpool – was upheld by the OSA last year.

The BHA also claimed that after a long-running legal battle, the high-achieving London Oratory school had withdrawn its appeal of part of a high court judgment against the institution last April….

As part of a complex ruling, …the Oratory lost its bid to include a family’s “Catholic service” – a points system that rewards church flower arranging and choir membership – as a means of selecting pupils for the oversubscribed secondary school…

Campaigners say the two developments are particularly significant because the education secretary, Nicky Morgan, has said she wants to ban organisations from objecting to the admission arrangements of schools in future in order to “stop vexatious complaints against faith schools by secularist campaign groups”.

Jay Harman, a faith schools campaigner at the BHA, said: “The fact that flower arranging, cleaning, and maintenance no longer appear in any state schools’ admission arrangements demonstrates the value of national campaign groups being able to object to schools’ admissions policies, where they do not comply with the law…”

More at Faith school ‘admissions by flower arranging’ eradicated in England


Your thoughts on the specific issue that has apparently been eradicated here?

And on the wider principle of the outcome having been affected by the kind of campaigning activity Nicky Morgan appears to want to stop?

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  1. Read the response of one individual who would be regarded as ‘vexatious’ here:

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