Thursday, 3 April 2008

Independent: "Vast majority" of faith schools breaking admissions laws

The vast majority of faith schools are breaking the law when admitting pupils, according to Government research published yesterday. The study shows that some seek money from parents and fail to give priority to children in care.

A survey of 106 voluntary-aided schools by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) revealed that 96 are in breach of a new statutory code on admissions. Of those, 87 are faith schools.

Six were found to be asking parents for voluntary financial contributions before admitting their children. At Beis Yaakov Jewish primary school in Barnet, north London, parents were asked to contribute £895 per term.

However, the biggest single breach of the new statutory code involved the admission of children in care. A total of 58 schools were found to be refusing to give them priority in admissions, as demanded by law. In addition, 13 did not admit special-needs children at all. One school, Hasmonean primary – also in Barnet – was found to have breached the statutory code in 10 different ways. Read more

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