50 per cent cap on faith admissions to remain

The government will retain the 50 per cent cap on faith admissions for free schools, but will make it easier for faith groups to open new voluntary-aided faith schools to meet local demand.

The voluntary-aided route already allows for schools to apply to open with up to 100 per cent faith based admissions.

The DfE will work with local authorities to create these schools where they are needed, subject to a ten per cent contribution from the provider.

These schools will continue to be expected to play an active role in their communities. This could include twinning with other schools and ensuring diversity on the governing board.

In 2016, the government proposed scrapping the rule that new faith schools can only apply their faith-based over-subscription criteria to the first 50 per cent of places when they are over-subscribed.

The Roman Catholic Church says the cap prevents it from opening new free schools – because it is against its religious rules to turn away Catholics on the basis of their faith.

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