BHA supports new Accord campaign to end religious discrimination in Voluntary Controlled admissions

The Accord Coalition has today launched a new local campaign initiative to stop Voluntary Controlled ‘faith’ schools from religiously discriminating in admissions. The British Humanist Association (BHA), a founding member of Accord, welcomes the initiative, and is encouraging local humanists to lend their support.

Unlike other types of ‘faith’ school, Voluntary Controlled (VC) schools, which make up 37% of all ‘faith’ schools, are not in control of their admissions but have the Local Authority set their admissions policy. About three quarters of local authorities do not let their VC schools religiously discriminate in admissions, however the remainder do. For those living in one of these 43 authorities, the local campaign initiative presents a unique opportunity to work through democratic channels at a local level to open up ‘faith’ school admissions.

BHA Faith Schools Campaigner Richy Thompson commented, ‘Religious discrimination in admissions is one of the worst problems in our education system today. It is extremely disheartening when, as a parent, you cannot get your child into your local school, or the best school in the area, because you are of the “wrong” religion or of no religion.

‘All state-funded schools should be required to have inclusive admissions policies, taking in local children regardless of the religion or belief of their parents, and educating them all together in a harmonious environment. Until there is a change in the law, we can at least work to further open up VC schools to the whole of their communities.’


For further comment or information, please contact Richy Thompson on 020 7462 4993.

Read the Accord Coalition press release, Accord Coalition launches campaign to end religious discrimination in school admissions, and the new campaign page.

Read more about the BHA’s campaigns work on ‘faith’ schools. The BHA has produced a table describing the types of ‘faith’ school and explaining their privileges and exemptions.

The British Humanist Association is the national charity working on behalf of ethically concerned, non-religious people in the UK. It is the largest organisation in the UK campaigning for an end to religious privilege and to discrimination based on religion or belief, and for a secular state.