Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush has reacted to the Government’s announcements on faith schools.
“We welcome the Government’s commitment to facilitating the opening of more faith schools, including Jewish schools, through designated funding provided to local authorities. The popularity of faith schools with parents reflects their academic results, ethos, behavioural standards and the contribution that their pupils go on to make in wider society. It is no accident that one in every three schools in Britain is a faith school.
“However, we are disappointed that the Government has gone back on a manifesto commitment to drop the 50% cap on faith-based admissions for new free schools of a religious character. Whatever the intentions behind it, and while the cap does have some supporters in our own community, the 50% cap has not been proven to promote cohesion in practice.
“We have long argued that there are better ways to promote cohesion and that these should be considered instead. We would ask the Government to think again and work with faith communities and others on ways to promote cohesion while supporting a sector which remains popular with taxpaying parents and pupils alike.”