To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 19 January 2018 to Question 123136, what the evidential basis is for his statement that faiths opening new faith free schools subject to the 50 per cent cap would contravene religious rules.
The Catholic Church regard the 50% limit on faith admissions as preventing Catholic parents from meeting their obligation to secure a Catholic education for their children and hindering the ability of Catholic Bishops to secure sufficient Catholic provision to meet the needs of Catholic parents, both of which are obligations under Canon law. Given the popularity of Catholic schools among a broad range of parents, they believe the effect of the 50% cap would be to require them to turn away Catholic pupils. The ‘Schools that work for everyone’ consultation proposed removing the 50% limit as part of broader plans to enable a wider group of high quality providers to establish new schools. The government will respond to the above consultation in due course.