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Faith Schools: Equality

Volume 507: debated on Tuesday 9 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will bring forward legislative proposals to provide that the exceptions to the equality duty contemplated in clause 29 of and schedule 3, part 2 to the Equality Bill be extended to faith schools in the public sector; and if he will make a statement. (317017)

In relation to their pupils, faith schools are not covered by clause 29 of the Equality Bill as a result of clause 28(2). They are instead covered by Part 6 of the Bill and the exceptions they need to operate are provided in that Part and in Schedule 11. In relation to other services and public functions provided by faith schools, the exceptions contained in Clause 29 will apply to all public bodies, including maintained faith schools. The exceptions in Part 2 of Schedule 3 apply mainly to local authorities in relation to their education functions. Where they need to apply more widely, including to maintained faith schools, they do. An example of this is paragraph 11 of the Schedule. There is no need for additional legislation.