We believe all state-funded schools should:
1. Operate admissions policies that take no account of pupils’ – or their parents’ – religion or beliefs.
2. Operate recruitment and employment policies that do not discriminate on the grounds of religion or belief.
3. Follow an objective, fair and balanced syllabus for education about religious and non-religious beliefs – whether determined by their local authority or by any future national syllabus or curriculum for RE.
4. Be made accountable under a single inspection regime for RE, Personal, Social & Health Education (PSHE) and Citizenship.
5. Provide their pupils with inclusive, inspiring and stimulating assemblies in place of compulsory acts of worship.
Advance press coverage of this, see for example New pressure over faith schools at the BBC and Faith schools accused on employment from the Press Association and Campaigners fight to stop schools recruiting staff based on religion in the Guardian produced some strong reactions, notably Melanie McDonagh: Faith schools work. Until you take the faith away at the Independent.
A counter-coalition called the Faith Schools’ Providers Group issued a press release reported in Mainstream religious leaders unite to defend faith schools.
And the Catholic Education Service also issued its own press statement: Catholic Education Service rejects ‘spurious’ claims of group opposing faith schools.
Today, Simon Barrow has written repeatedly about what Accord is really seeking:
Ekklesia A Christian case for Accord
Open Democracy Changing the agenda on faith schools
Comment is free Changing the faith schools’ agenda