Faith schools significantly limit choice for many parents, NSS finds

Posted: Mon, 10 Dec 2018

Faith schools significantly limit choice for many parents, NSS finds

Almost three in ten families in England live in areas where most or all of the local primary schools are faith-based, National Secular Society research has revealed.

The NSS's report The Choice Delusion, published on Saturday and featured exclusively in The Sunday Times, highlights a severe lack of reasonably accessible religiously-neutral schools for those that want them.

The report reveals:

  • Between 111,000 and 136,000 applicant families lived in areas where the availability of secular schools was highly restricted in September 2018.
  • A further 45,000 to 60,000 lived in areas where it was extremely restricted.
  • More than one in five families who missed out on their first choice of a non-faith primary school were assigned a faith school.
  • This includes 1,398 families who had made all their preferences (typically five) for a non-faith school.
  • Families in rural areas were most affected by the restrictions, as 53% of all rural primary schools are faith based.
  • The analysis found high or extreme restrictions on secular schooling in 43.4% of rural areas.

More information and full report.

Tags: National Secular Society