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Faith school cap debate: MPs argue Catholic schools will suffer

Thu 08 Mar 2018
By Eno Adeogun

A number of Christian Conservative MPs have written a letter calling for the faith-based cap on new schools to be scrapped.

Writing to the Daily Telegraph, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Sir Edward Leigh, Martin Vickers and Sir Bill Cash detailed why Catholic schools should be able to admit more children on the basis of religion.

The politicians claimed "Catholic schools are also more likely to be oversubscribed from people outside their faith community than Islamic and Hindu Schools, to which non-Muslims and non-Hindus rarely apply".

 

The current cap stops new faith schools admitting more than 50 per cent of children on the basis of religion.

Their defence of scrapping the cap follows another letter written on Tuesday to the Daily Telegraph by a group of 70 faith leaders, politicians and academics who warned lifting the cap would be "deleterious to social cohesion and respect".

However, this was refuted in Thursday's letter with the four politicians highlighting the number of non-Catholic pupils existing Catholic schools admit.

The letter stated: "Open, inclusive, diverse and integrated schools are to be welcomed, and existing Catholic schools provide a very good model for this. A third of their pupils are non-Catholic and they educate more than 26,000 Muslim pupils.

"One in seven ethnic minority pupils in England and Wales attend a Catholic school, including more than one in five black children."

As Canon law forbids Catholic bishops from turning away Catholic pupils because of their faith, the politicians claim the cap and popularity of Catholic schools among people of other faiths, is forcing the Catholic Church to discriminate in this way.

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