HSLD supports Fair Admissions Campaign
By Toby Keynes, Chair, HSLD
Yesterday, the Fair Admissions Campaign was launched, calling for an end to religious discrimination and segregation of children by state-funded schools.
This has long been a key issue for humanist and secularists within the Liberal Democrats: it's hard to believe that this country not only allows deliberate and open religious discrimination against children but actually supports it and funds it, on a massive scale.
Our party's policy in this area is clear: "Allowing parents and pupils to choose schools, and not schools to choose pupils, by stopping the establishment of new schools which select by ability, aptitude or faith, and by introducing policies radically to reduce all existing forms of selection."
Unfortunately, the government, under Michael Gove, is travelling fast in the opposite direction, approving many new schools that restrict half their places to children from the right faith group and even some that will not offer a single place to a child from the wrong faith group.
Our own education ministers seem unable to do anything about it.
Religious discrimination in schools is not only wrong in principle, it's also deeply unpopular: a ComRes survey for the Accord Coalition showed last November that more than four to one people thought state-funded schools should not be allowed to select or discriminate against children on religious grounds.
As a party, it is time for us to take a stand against direct religious discrimination sponsored by the state and paid for by you.
To find out more about the campaign, and about how you can get involved, go to http://fairadmissions.org.uk