Faith Schools: Admissions

Department for Education written question – answered on 9th December 2015.

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Photo of Heidi Allen Heidi Allen Conservative, South Cambridgeshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate her Department has made of the number of children who are refused admission to a state funded faith school on the grounds of differing faith or belief; and if she will work with schools and faith groups to facilitate inclusive admission policies in all state funded schools.

Photo of Edward Timpson Edward Timpson Minister of State (Education)

The department does not collect data on the reasons why individual applicants are refused a place to particular schools.

It is for the relevant admission authority of a school designated with a religious character to decide whether or not to adopt faith-based oversubscription criteria. Not all schools with a faith designation choose to allocate places by faith. Some choose to allocate only a proportion of their places on the basis of faith. Where they have places available, schools with a faith designation must admit all children who apply, without reference to faith.

The government is committed to ensuring that new faith-designated academies and free schools provide additional places not just for pupils of their own faith, but also for other local children regardless of their faith. New provision academies and free schools with a faith designation must give priority to at least 50 per cent of their intake without reference to faith, where they are oversubscribed.

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