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Faith Schools: Admissions

Volume 470: debated on Monday 7 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what proportion of religious schools select pupils for admission by faith; and if he will make a statement. (175146)

Schools are not allowed to select pupils for admission by faith. Schools designated as having a religious character under section 69 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 may give priority, when oversubscribed, to children on the basis that they are members of or practise their faith. We know that practices vary widely and that a number of schools with a religious character do not give priority on the basis of faith and others offer a proportion of places to children without reference to faith.

The priority given to faith applicants is not “selection” (as the term is used in education law) because it does not relate to academic aptitude or ability.