No More Faith Schools

This all comes a as a bit of a surprise. But a very welcome one.

The Government has decided against backing more faith schools, the Children, Schools and Families Secretary, Ed Balls, told MPs.

In what is being seen as one of the most significant policy shifts of the post-Tony Blair era in education, he told a Commons select committee:

“It is not the policy of the Government nor my department to expand the number of faith schools. We’re not leading a drive for more faith schools.”

The report also includes this interesting titbit:

Professor Alan Smithers, director of the Centre for Education and Employment at the University of Buckingham, said it had been wrong to argue that church-school pupils did better in exams because of a religious ethos. It was because they could be more selective on admissions, he said.

I can’t find a transcript of the meeting (TheyWorkforYou doesn’t seem to cover select committees) but the minutes will probably appear here at some point.

What with this and the potential abolition of the blasphemy laws, it seems there’s an outbreak of sanity in the government.

Update: It seems that TheyWorkForYou do, in fact, have plans to cover select committees. But they’ve been hampered by lack of funds. So why not pop over to MySociety (the people behind TheyWorkForYou) and bung them a bit of cash. I’m going to sign up for a tenner a month.

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