Faith schools and other state schools in areas which are highly segregated by religions, ethnicity or social class should be made to “twin” with other schools in different settings, according to the British Future group. Tes reports.
The government recently announced that it was retaining the faith cap on new free schools but also making funding available to support the creation of new voluntary aided schools which can select all their pupils on the basis of faith.
British Future’s recommendations are made in its submission to the government’s consultation on its Integrated Communities Strategy green paper.
The group says activities to ensure that pupils mix with children from different backgrounds should be mandatory in all state schools. It adds: “That could include ‘twinning’ or ‘linking’ of schools – meaning a Muslim faith school, for example, would have to forge links with a local Christian or Jewish school so their children could mix and get to know each other.”
The think-tank says a poll found that three-quarters of the public thinks more mixing among children in schools would be good for integration.
British Future’s director of strategy Jill Rutter said: “Schools have mainly been an integration success story in Britain. Most people think that children from different backgrounds mixing in school has done more to improve race relations than anything else in recent years. But that isn’t always happening and we still see pockets of segregation.
The British Future paper also says that home-educated children should have to take part in integration activities.
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