72 per cent of public opposed to religious selection, survey suggests

72 per cent of the public are opposed to religious selection in schools, according to a new survey conducted by the British Humanist Association (BHA).

The survey followed the government’s proposals to lift the 50 per cent cap on religious selection in faith schools included in the education green paper, which would effectively allow them to select 100 per cent of pupils based on their religious background.

Only 15 per cent of respondents to the survey said they supported religious selection, with 68 per cent of Christian respondents opposed to the idea and 82 per cent of Muslim respondents expressing a preference for no religious selection in schools.

A key part of Theresa May’s argument for removing the 50 per cent cap was that it was specifically limiting new Catholic schools from opening, however, 63 per cent of Catholic respondents told the BHA they were also opposed to religious selection.

Andrew Copson, BHA chief executive, said: “Contrary to government claims, the cap on religious selection has significantly boosted integration in English schools, something that religious and non-religious people alike clearly support.

“Given the increasing diversity of our society it would be incredibly disappointing if this progress were to be thrown away simply at the behest of a religious lobby that we now see does not share the views of the people it claims to represent. We will continue to encourage those who are yet to speak out against the proposals to do so, and to urge the government in the strongest possible terms to climb down from this disastrous policy.”

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