In some areas almost half the local schools are either faith schools or single-sex. This restricts the choice for parents who wish their children to attend a non-faith, co-educational school. Camden and Hackney are two examples. Often these schools are successful leaving parents with a small choice of less good schools. It has been proven that faith schools discriminate against non-middle class families, increasing social division. The state education system should ensure full choice for all by limiting the number of faith and single-sex schools and ensuring a balance of boys’ and girls’ schools in each area, if indeed we need them at all. Non-faith, co-educational schools attracting fewer applicants should be supported financially to improve, until parents no longer feel the need to pretend to go to church to get their children into a better school.

Why is this idea important?

Because the state education system should be fair and offer equal choice to all parents. Because the current system is open to abuse, creates inequality, limits social mobility and limits the life-chances of poorer children. This has been extensively documented.

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