15 September 2016, The Tablet
The Catholic Church has welcomed the Government’s decision to remove the cap, set at 50 per cent, on faith-based admissions for free schools and new academies, writes Rose Gamble.
The Prime Minister, Theresa May, announced plans to lift restrictions requiring oversubscribed faith schools to make half of all places available to children from other, non-Catholic backgrounds, on 9 September. The Catholic Education Service (CES) said the proposal would enable Catholic schools to meet the parental demand for thousands of new Catholic school places across England.
The arbitrary cap could cause schools to turn Catholic families away on the grounds of their being Catholics, it said in a statement. “To do so contravenes Canon Law and common sense,” it added.
According to the statement, one third of pupils at Catholic schools are from non-Catholic families and Catholic schools have a track record of taking high numbers of pupils from ethnic minorities and deprived backgrounds.