Commenting on the release of groundbreaking new research from the Fair Admissions Campaign on the extent of religious selection in state-funded English secondary schools, and its effect on social and ethnic inclusion, Simon Barrow, co-director of the Christian think-tank Ekklesia, said:
"The Archbishop of Canterbury recently said that Church of England schools are moving away from religious selection and implied that he welcomed this.
"Sadly, the Church responded by reaffirming its policy of retaining the power to discriminate for or against pupils on the basis of their beliefs.
"Ekklesia has long maintained that religious selection undermines a true Christian ethos of love of neighbour and putting others first. In many cases it is also socially and economically divisive.
"This new research from the Fair Admissions Campaign, of which Ekklesia is an active supporter, shows the extent of selection by belief in state-funded schools.
"Rather than seeking to maintain these barriers, we believe that religious foundation schools should be dismantling them and giving priority to those in most need, whatever their belief background."
* The research can be viewed at http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/19578
* Background: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/19576