Religious schools in the UK can now legally discriminate
We’ve come a long way over the past 100 years, but do you ever feel like we’re slowly starting to slide backwards when you hear about stuff like this?
Leading academics, authors and scientists are launching a campaign to stop state-funded faith schools from discriminating against students and teachers on the grounds of religion.
From Monday, such schools will be allowed to include faith as a selection criterion for teaching and non-teaching posts, reserving more places for people from the same religious background.
In some schools this will expand to include the headteacher while in others this would apply to non-teaching jobs, such as classroom assistants and cooks.
In 2006 faith schools were handed new powers to discriminate when Lord Adonis, the schools minister, brought forward an amendment to the education bill allowing them to favour members of the same religion when choosing support staff. Shortly afterwards the education secretary, Alan Johnson, said he would no longer try to force faith schools to accept up to a quarter of their pupils from other faiths or with no religion. The climbdown infuriated those who claim single faith schools fuel ethnic, religious and social segregation.
Earlier this year the National Union of Teachers unveiled plans to rival faith schools, proposing that all schools should become practising multi-faith institutions. Headteachers would bring in imams, rabbis and priests to instruct religious pupils as part of the curriculum in an attempt to satisfy parental demand for religion in schools.
Why is there a push to include more faith in schools? Leave faith to families and education to the educators.