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The television version of Hilary Mantel’s novel Wolf Hall is the latest account to challenge St Thomas More’s reputation as a courageous defender of the rights of conscience. Was he, in truth, a liberal icon, a religious fanatic or something in between?
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The headmaster of a prominent Catholic secondary school has hit back at a government body’s ruling that found its admissions policy favoured white middle-class pupils.
David McFadden, headmaster of the London Oratory School in Fulham, west London, rejected the Office of the Schools Adjudicator’s decision last week that 105 aspects of its admission arrangements breached the School Admissions Code.
The oversubscribed school uses a point-based admissions system to give priority to pupils who can show evidence of their commitment to Catholicism.
In a letter to parents Mr McFadden said that the school was representative of the Catholic community in London, noting that the complaint originated with the British Humanist Association, which opposed faith schools.
“The school does not seek to become simply a neighbourhood school in one of the more privileged areas of west London but to retain its London-wide mandate for Catholic pupils of Catholic parents for which it was established,” he said.
He said that the school had complied with all previous adjudications about its admissions policy, adding that the governors would take legal advice on the adjudication and decide upon whether to challenge conclusions of the OSA.