No replacement faith school in Swansea (St Joseph's/Bishop Vaughan)

What's happening?

Swansea Council is proposing to effectively build a new faith school to replace a Catholic primary (St Joseph's) and secondary (Bishop Vaughan) school. This may be a new site or at the current site of Bishop Vaughan. Both schools are currently in an inadequate state and the project would likely be part of Band C of the 21st Century Schools Programme.

If the plans go ahead, 85% of the capital costs would come from the central government programme, with a 15% 'contribution' from the diocese that may also come from public sources. 100% of running costs will be paid by the public and the school would be owned by the diocese.

Both schools have admissions policies (primary | secondary) which allow up to 100% of pupils to be selected on religious grounds. As Voluntary Aided faith schools a majority of governors can be appointed on religious grounds to promote the faith ethos, they can potentially select all of their pupils and teachers on religious grounds and teach confessional religious education. At KS4 the CES estimates that 85 to 90% of RE curriculum time is focused on Catholicism.

What's our view?

Rather than replacing these two faith schools, Swansea Council should create a new secular and inclusive community school.

Improving outdated and inadequate school buildings requires huge public spending. This shouldn't further entrench religious ownership, privilege and discrimination. Rather than replacing existing faith schools at huge public expense only to see them owned by religious organisations, we should be investing in inclusive community schools for all.

Section 14 of the Education Act 1996 requires local authorities in Wales to ensure that the schools planned in their area are "sufficient in number, character and equipment to provide for all pupils the opportunity of appropriate education".

Who are we?

No More Faith Schools is a national campaign coordinated by the National Secular Society and with supporters from a broad social, political and religious spectrum. We're dedicated to an end to state funded faith schools. We would like all schools to have an inclusive community ethos, free from any religious discrimination, privilege or control.

We help people challenge new faith schools, particularly where they have discriminatory admissions rules and where there are proposals for inclusive alternatives.

When do you get a say?

Proposals are at an early stage, but it is still worth writing to your Members of the Senedd and local councillors if you live in Swansea. Please consider signing the petition below with a comment will help prepare our response and sign up to the newsletter to be kept up to date with developments.

No to replacement faith schools in Swansea

Rather than replacing these two faith schools, Swansea Council should create a new secular and inclusive community school.

No to replacement faith schools in Swansea

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