Osservatorio Gran Bretagna: Possibilit di ammettere una percentuale di studenti non credenti nelle scuole confessionali: parere favorevole della Chiesa cattolica inglese e della Church of England. Lo stato attuale del dibattito parlamentare.
MAKING PLACES IN FAITH SCHOOLS AVAILABLE TO OTHER FAITHS
18 October 2006 (Department for Education and Skills – press release)
Education Secretary Alan Johnson announced last night that the Government intends to introduce an amendment to the Education Bill to make new faith schools more inclusive.
Mr Johnson intends to bring forward an amendment to the Education and Inspections Bill, which will enable local authorities to ensure that up to 25% of places in new faith schools are open to families of different or no faith where there is a local demand.
Where there is local opposition, a local authority may only approve a new faith school with less than 25% non-faith admissions with the consent of the Secretary of State.
Mr Johnson said:
“There must be a balance between preserving the special quality of faith schools and building greater community cohesion and understanding between different cultures.
“All the main faiths have already shown their commitment to the principle that children in faith and community schools should be taught about all the major faiths and develop deeper understanding. By opening up a proportion of places to children of different faiths where local communities wish this, we will help to create a system where all faith schools play a full part in the education of local children.
“Of course, admissions are not the only way to achieve community cohesion. We also welcome the commitment from the Catholic Education Service that they will amend their inspection framework to cover community cohesion and links with other schools.”
The Secretary of State last week welcomed an announcement by the Church of England that it would make at least a quarter of places in its new schools available to non-church pupils as part of its commitment to improving social cohesion.
The Government believes the Church of England approach is a positive one for supporting greater community cohesion.
In addition, the Roman Catholic Church has said it will revise its inspection frameworks to ensure the contribution Catholic schools and colleges make to social cohesion is fully reported upon.
Both the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches reaffirmed their commitment to social cohesion in an exchange of letters with the Education and Skills Secretary today.
1. Over 30 % of state schools in England have a religious character. There are around 7,000 faith schools from a total of nearly 21,000 schools. Around 600 are secondary schools with the remainder being primary schools.
2. All but 48 of the faith schools are associated with the major Christian denominations. The other 48 faith schools consist of:
• 36 Jewish schools;
• 8 Muslim schools;
• 2 Sikh schools;
• 1 Greek Orthodox school;
• 1 Seventh Day Adventist school;
Further schools that have been approved to open: 2 Jewish, 3 Muslim and 2 Sikh.]
:: Le lettere inviate ad Alan Johnson, Secretary of State for Education and Skills, riguardo alla questione dell’ammissione degli alunni alle scuole confessionali:
Il testo dell’emendamento all'”Education and Inspection Bill” (attualmente all’esame del Parlamento):
Amendment No. 12
“After Clause 45
THE LORD BAKER OF DORKING
THE BARONESS MASSEY OF DARWEN
THE LORD SKIDELSKY
THE LORD TAVERNE
Insert the following new Clause—
“Admission arrangements for additional schools with religious character
After section 90 of SSFA 1998 insert—
“90A Admission arrangements for additional schools with religious character
(1) This section applies where an additional foundation or voluntary school with a religious character is to be established.
(2) The local education authority for the area in which the school is to be established may, if they so desire, specify that up to 25 per cent of places at the school shall be allocated to pupils who do not follow the religion or religious denomination of the school.
(3) Where the local education authority specify a number of places under subsection (2), the admission authority for the school must make admission arrangements accordingly.
(4) Where the local education authority decide not to specify a number of places under subsection (2), the consent of the Secretary of State for that decision is required if subsection (5) applies.
(5) This subsection applies if it appears to the Secretary of State that there would be significant opposition from residents of the area of the local education authority to the additional school only admitting pupils who follow the religion or religious denomination of the school.
(6) For the purposes of this section, a school is “additional” if it does not replace a school which has been or is to be discontinued.
(7) References in this section to a school with a religious character shall be construed in accordance with section 69(3).””
(27 ottobre 2006)