Unlike the United States, education in Great Britain allows schools based on a particular religious faith to be pubclicly funded with the proviso they will accept children of other faiths and be cognizant of the needs of poor children. A recent survey by the Department for Children, Schools, and Families(DCSF) reveals 87 faith based schools are breaking their obligations to children and parents. Six were found to solicit “voluntary funds” from parents before admitting their children which violates the law. Thirteen schools did not admit any special needs children and 58 schools refused to give them priority in admissions. It was also revealed faith based schools admitted fewer children who receive free meals.
In the future, Philip Hunter, school ombundsman for children and parents will be given special power to check into violation of procedures regarding admissions and to make certain schools do not solicit funds from parents while discussing questions of admissions. Solicitation from parents obviously benefits students from wealthier backgrounds.
Conservatives members of parliament claim the report is an attempt to discredit the concept of parental choice while David Laws of the Liberal democrats commened: “It is uncceptable for any school to be breaking the admissions code.”
We believe in choice that respects the interests of poor as well as middle and upper class children.