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Faith schools do not improve standards - new report

April 21, 2009 2:33 PM

The Humanist & Secularist Liberal Democrats have welcomed a new report from the London School of Economics and the Institute of Education which discovered no evidence that faith schools improved academic achievement.

The report's findings also suggested that faith schools engage in social selection through their admissions procedures to the detriment of pupils.

The new follows a decision by Liberal Democrats at their Spring Conference last month to adopt a policy which would force faith schools to demonstrate a commitment to inclusiveness.

These latest findings from the LSE followed extensive research in which the attainment of 550,000 children in state secondaries were followed, with school type, poverty indicators and exam results taken into account. Anna Vignoles, co-author of the study, said: "If faith schools genuinely give parents a choice, what should happen is that with lots of faith schools there is more choice, competition with other schools and standards being driven up. We didn't find that. Even in areas with high proportions of children in faith schools, there is certainly no evidence that standards are higher."

The presentation of the report can be found here: www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO/PLUG/events/181108/allen.pptx