The Fair Admissions Campaign had its first outing in Parliament this afternoon after a debate about religiously selective admission arrangements at faith schools was held in the House of Lords following a question tabled by Fair Admissions Campaign supporter, Baroness Joan Bakewell.
Baroness Bakewell asked the Government if it had plans to encourage religiously selective schools to adopt a more open admissions policy, and whether it believed children should be ‘integrated or segregated’. In reply, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools, Lord Nash said the Government ‘supports inclusive admission arrangements’ and believed ‘strongly that one of the secrets for success in this country is that children should be integrated’.
In total, ten Peers made contributions to the debate from the Lords’ five largest groupings, and several peers made wider points regarding state funded faith schools. Those specifically addressing religious selection in admissions included Baroness Richardson, who highlighted how not all schools of religious character select on faith grounds. Lord Dubs strongly argued that Northern Ireland’s heavily religiously segregated school system was a contributing factor to the providence’s community tensions and that the experience offered an ‘ominous lesson’ to Great Britain.
You can read the full debate on Parliament’s website. The Fair Admissions Campaign will continue to lobby Peers and MPs on the issue of religious selection.