Need to know: What is the faith-school cap?

Damian Hinds has said that he is in favour of abolishing the cap on faith-schools’ freedom to select pupils on the basis of religion. But what does this actually mean? Tes reports.

Religion is in the news again. New education secretary Damian Hinds has said that he will abolish the ban currently prohibiting new faith schools from selecting more than half of their pupils on the basis of religion.

What is the faith-school cap?

At the moment, any new faith free schools opened can only select 50 per cent of their pupils by religion. This means different things to different religious groups. In practice, it does not affect most Jewish or Muslim schools, which tend only to receive applications from Jewish or Muslim pupils.

The Church of England is also unfazed by the rule: it is happy to educate pupils of all religions and none.

So everyone’s OK with the cap?

If, by “everyone” you mean “everyone except the people who run 10 per cent of schools in England” then, yes.

The Catholic Education Service (CES) is not happy with the cap at all. The Catholic church has chosen not to open any new schools as long as the cap was in place, claiming that turning away Catholic pupils who want a Catholic education would be against canon law.

What difference will lifting the cap make?

The CES argues that, as soon as more Catholic schools are opened, there will be more places available, which means that all Catholics who want to attend a Catholic school will be able to do so.

Read the full article Need to know: What is the faith-school cap?

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