Posted by: becketfund | August 29, 2008

UK: Coalition: State-Funded Religious Schools Should Not “Discriminate” on the Basis of Religion

LONDON – A coalition of religious leaders, humanists, and teachers has asked the government to prohibit state-funded religious schools (“faith schools”) from selecting students and teachers on the basis of religion, the BBC reported on August 29.  Approximately 6,900 out of 21,000 schools in England are faith schools; although most are Roman Catholic, some are also Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, or Greek Orthodox.  According to the new coalition, allowing these schools to “discriminate” on the basis of religion results in religious segregation and threatens “community cohesion.”  The coalition has therefore called for an end to religion-based admissions and hiring.  The coalition has also asked the government to replace the faith schools’ religious curricula with a “balanced” syllabus covering a range of religious and non-religious beliefs, and to replace school-wide acts of worship with “inclusive, inspiring and stimulating assemblies.”

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