Team London school event

Keep the 50 per cent cap on religious free schools

02 November 2016

A 50 per cent cap on religiously selective admissions has been in place for new academies and free schools which select by religion, since 2007. The Government is now proposing to remove the cap.

The London Assembly believes maintaining the 50 per cent cap encourages diversity in London schools.

The Assembly today agreed a motion which asks for the Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement to examine the effects of the Government’s proposals on diversity and calls on the Mayor and Deputy Mayor to lobby the Government on their proposals.

Tom Copley AM, who proposed the motion said:

During these challenging times it’s more important than ever that we do all we can to teach young people about tolerance and diversity. Religious selection causes segregation not just by belief but also by ethnicity and social class. This is the opposite of what we should be seeking to achieve, which is schools that are diverse and welcoming of children from all backgrounds.

Religious selection in schools can be a significant barrier to social integration. I’d urge the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor for Social Integration to put firm pressure on the government to drop these proposals which are completely at odds with their vision for a better integrated London.”

 

The full text of the Motion is:

This Assembly is concerned about the Government’s proposals to remove the 50 per cent cap on religiously selective admissions for all religious free schools and the impact this would have on diversity within London’s schools.

Since 2007, a 50 per cent cap on religiously selective admissions has been in place for new academies and free schools which select by religion. The Government’s proposals intend to remove the 50 per cent rule and in its place, introduce measures that are less likely to increase diversity in faith schools.

The Government's own data shows that religious schools which are 100 per cent selective by faith are less diverse in terms of both race and social class than religious schools where the 50 per cent cap is in place.

This Assembly believes that it is important for schools to serve the local communities in which they are located. The Mayor has released a statement in which he said selection leads to segregation and appointed a Deputy Mayor for Social Integration to help ensure Londoners from different faiths, ethnicities, backgrounds and social classes are better integrated in a city that is the most diverse in the country.

This Assembly calls on the Mayor to make representations to the Government to keep the 50 per cent cap in place.

This Assembly asks for the Deputy Mayor for Social Integration to examine the effects of the Government’s proposals on diversity in London and to look at ways in which we can ensure that London’s schools are fully inclusive and to lobby the Government on their proposals.

Notes to editors

  1. Watch the full webcast.
  2. The motion was agreed by 11 votes for and 4 votes against.
  3. Tom Copley AM, who proposed the motion, is available for interviews. Please see contact details below. 
  4. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.

For media enquiries, please contact Mary Dolan on 020 7983 4603.  For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officerNon-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.