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Faith Schools: Admissions

Volume 460: debated on Thursday 17 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of 9 May 2007, Official Report, column 254W, on faith schools: admissions, (1) if he will make it his policy to collect information on those faith schools in (a) Birmingham, (b) the West Midlands and (c) England which do not give priority to children of their faith; (137362)

(2) what the evidential basis was for the statement in his recent letter to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak that not all schools with a religious character give priority in admissions to children of their faith.

The admission arrangements for maintained schools are consulted on and determined each year by the relevant admission authority. This information is published annually by each local authority for all schools in their area in their composite prospectus for parents. We do not collect this information centrally and have no plans to do so. Through discussions with local authorities, schools and faith providers, we know that practices vary widely and that a number of schools with a religious character do not give priority in admissions to children on the basis of their faith and others offer a proportion of places to children without reference to faith.