Academic research on faith school policies

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Commenting on a new study by academics at the London School of Economics and the Institute of Education, both part of the University of London, to be published in full at the Royal Economic Society annual conference in Guildford this week, Simon Barrow, co-director of the religion and society think-tank Ekklesia, said:

"[This research] merits serious consideration by everyone who wants to see schooling in the UK being effective and genuinely open to all. Faith school providers and their critics need to engage the problems and opportunities the research highlights, rather than dismiss them.

"A fresh approach is also required from government and opposition, starting from an agreement that discrimination can never be a good basis for education - or, we would add, for institutions claiming Christian or other religious example as part of their character."

Ekklesia is a founding member of Accord (http://www.accordcoalition.org.uk/), a coalition of religious and non-religious organisations and individuals that campaigns for inclusive schooling and against taxpayer-funded schools selecting pupils according to belief.

Accord chair Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain said: "Religious discrimination is increasingly hard to justify and the government should not wait any longer before challenging it."

On the report: http://ekklesia.co.uk/node/9266

More on faith schools from Ekklesia: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/tags/99