“Faith schools give parents greater choice”


“Faith schools achieve better results”


“Faith schools are better at teaching children morals”


"Faith schools are necessary to protect parents’ religious freedom"


“Faith schools don’t do any harm – why not just let them be?”


“We are a Christian country, so therefore it is only right that we have Christian schools that teach our Christian values”


“Children can just opt out of religious activities at faith schools”


“Church schools are for everyone”


“Faith schools help to relieve the burden on the state by funding our children’s education”


“We’re stuck with them”

  • 58% of the adult population oppose faith schools and only 30% say they have "no objection" to faith schools being funded by the state.
    Source: Opinium (2014)
  • People say that academic standards matter most in choosing a school. 70% said they would choose a school on the basis of its academic standard; 23% said they would choose on basis of ethical standards; 5% said they would choose on the basis of giving a "grounding in faith tradition"; and only 3% for "transmission of belief about God".
    Source: YouGov
  • Faith schools tend to be more socio-economically exclusive than non-faith schools. Comprehensive secondary schools with no religious character admit 11% more pupils eligible for free school meals than live in their local areas. Comprehensive Church of England secondaries admit 10% fewer; Roman Catholic secondaries 24% fewer; Jewish secondaries 61% fewer; and Muslim secondaries 25% fewer.
    Source: Fair Admissions Campaign | Related: New research reveals socio-economic segregation impact of faith schools (2013)
  • Between January 2000 and January 2017 the proportion of faith schools increased steadily, from 35% to 37% of primaries and from 16% to 19% of secondaries.
    Source: House of Commons Library

According to research in a 2018 report by the National Secular Society (The Choice Delusion):

  • Almost three in ten families across England live in areas where most or all of the closest primary schools are faith schools. There is significant regional variation and the problem is more prevalent in rural areas. However, even in urban areas around one in four families live in areas with high or extreme restrictions.
  • In 43.4% of rural areas restrictions on non-faith school choice are categorised as "high" or "extreme". In fact, 53% of rural primary schools are faith-based.
  • 20.6% (7,727) of those who missed out on their first choice of a non-faith primary school in September 2018 were assigned a faith school. This includes 1,398 people who had made all their preferences (typically five) for a non-faith school.