Yes, you heard me right. The Church of England is to attack the middle-class dominance of its popular schools under a shake-up of admissions rules. CofE board of education chairman, the Right Reverend John Pritchard, will today issue guidelines ordering schools to be biased in favour of the ‘disadvantaged’ NON-CHRISTIANS.
UK DAILY MAIL – His controversial measures will signal the end of the current points system under which places are offered to children whose families are most involved in the Church. In addition, the guidelines will encourage schools to give priority to ‘inclusiveness’ if they serve communities not ‘reflective of the wider area’. This opens the door for schools to give places to ethnic minorities and immigrants who are not Christian.
Mr Pritchard, the Bishop of Oxford, will say the guidelines are ‘a reminder of what Church schools are for in this sea of change’ and will help demonstrate the Church is ‘committed to distinctiveness and inclusivity’. There are 4,831 Church of England schools, many of which perform well in league tables and are heavily oversubscribed.
The move follows the criticism of Dr Ian King, the Government admissions watchdog, who last year said faith schools were discriminating against immigrants with complex admissions procedures favouring middle-class children.
Mr Pritchard is also to launch an attack on the Coalition’s education policy, saying: ‘What’s going on in education today is probably the biggest programme of reform since 1944. The new guidance stresses that children who are disadvantaged because they come from an ethnic minority background should be given preferential treatment, and supports Church schools that are more inclusive of pupils from other faiths, such as Islam.
The document says Church schools are underpinned by a belief in the value of all human beings being entitled to ‘the highest possible standards of education and care’. And it says schools which not ‘diverse’ should consider changing rules which usually give priority to local families over those from further away.
The report, as well as affecting hundreds of thousands of families in England, could increase political tensions between the Coalition and the Church after the Archbishop of Canterbury’s attack this month on it having policies ‘for which people did not vote’. (FYI, the Archbishop of Canterbury said a little sharia law is a good thing: Archbishop of Canterbury argues for Islamic law in Britain)