• Government approves 12 new religious Free Schools

    The BHA has released this:

    During a speech detailing Conservative plans to open 500 new free schools by 2020, David Cameron has today announced the approval of 49 new Free Schools due to open from September 2015 and beyond. This includes 12 new religious schools. The British Humanist Association (BHA) has again voiced its concern at the continued increase in the number of ‘faith’ schools opening under the Free Schools programme.

    The 12 new religious schools include eight schools formally designated with a religious character and a further four schools with a ‘religious ethos’. These are made up of four Church of England Schools, three Christian schools, three Muslim schools, one Jewish school and one Hindu school.

    Commenting on the announcement, BHA Faith Schools Campaigner Jay Harman said: ‘We are hugely disappointed by this latest increase in the number of state-funded religious schools in England. The announcement means that a quarter of these new schools announced today will be allowed to discriminate against pupils and staff on the basis of their faith, as well as being able to set their own narrow curriculum.

    ‘Every school should be open to all pupils and staff, regardless of their religion or belief. We will continue to campaign to make this vision a reality.’

    The full list of schools

    Church of England (4)

    • Bishop Chavasse School, a primary school in Kent
    • City of London Primary Academy, Southwark
    • Swindon Church of England Secondary School
    • The Green School for Boys, a secondary school in Hounslow

    Christian (3)

    • City Gates School, an all-through school in Redbridge
    • Stationers’ Academy, Greenwich Peninsula, a secondary school
    • The Runnymede School, a secondary school in Surrey

    Muslim (3)

    • Olive School, Birmingham, a primary school
    • Olive School, Bolton, a primary school
    • Olive School, Preston, a primary school

    Jewish (1)

    • Kisharon Inclusive Free School, an all-through special school in Barnet

    Hindu (1)

    • Avanti Heath Clarke Primary School, a primary school in Croydon


    For further comment or information, please contact BHA Campaigns Manager Richy Thompson atrichy@humanism.org.uk or on 020 7324 3072.

    Read the Government’s announcement: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/prime-minister-announces-landmark-wave-of-free-schools

    See the full list of proposals: https://humanism.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/List-of-proposed-Free-Schools.xlsx

    Read more about the BHA’s campaigns work on ‘faith’ schools: https://humanism.org.uk/campaigns/religion-and-schools/faith-schools

    View the BHA’s table of types of school with a religious character: https://humanism.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/schools-with-a-religious-character.pdf

    The British Humanist Association is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. It promotes a secular state and equal treatment in law and policy of everyone, regardless of religion or belief.

    Category: EducationPoliticsReligion and Society


    Article by: Jonathan MS Pearce