New report finds “faith schools” do not improve education standards

20 April, 2009

The British Humanist Association (BHA) has today welcomed a new report from the University of London, which found that “faith schools” engage in social selection through their admissions procedures and that such schools do not improve educational standards.

Paul Pettinger, BHA Faith Schools and Education Officer, said, ‘The findings of this report add to an ever-growing body of evidence which shows that if “faith schools” achieve better exam results, it is because of their socially selective admissions policies and not because they provide a better standard of education than inclusive community schools.’

Mr Pettinger continued, ‘Divisions are created in our society when many “faith schools” discriminate against and segregate pupils on the basis of religion and, as this report suggests, also on pupil’s previous levels of attainment and social class. Social cohesion and higher standards of education for all are best achieved in inclusive and accommodating community schools where pupils from different backgrounds learn with and from each other.’


For comment or information from the BHA, contact Paul Pettinger on 020 7462 4993.

The report will be presented today at the Royal Economic Society Annual Conference in Guildford.

The British Humanist Association (BHA) is the national charity representing and supporting the non-religious, campaigning for an end to religious privilege and to discrimination based on religion or belief and is the largest organisation in the UK working for a secular society. In education, this means an end to the expansion of faith schools and for the assimilation of those that currently exist into a system of inclusive and accommodating community schools.