Academies: Religion

Department for Education written question – answered on 23rd July 2021.

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Photo of Crispin Blunt Crispin Blunt Conservative, Reigate

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he has taken to protect the secular ethos of (a) non-faith and (a) community-ethos academies entering into mixed-multi academy trusts.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

Non-faith or community-ethos schools have different characteristics, particularly in relation to governance, compared to schools with a religious designation. Their secular character and ethos are protected regardless of which type of multi-academy trust they join.

The academy trust’s charitable object is to recognise and support a school’s individual ethos. This places an obligation on the trust and its board to ensure that a non-faith or community school’s character is safeguarded in a mixed multi-academy trust.

The supplemental funding agreement, a contract between my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, and academy trusts, has recently been updated to include clauses to protect the local governance arrangements of a non-faith or community school joining a mixed multi-academy trust.

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