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Ban exclusion from faith schools, says religious group

As pupils return to classes, campaigners are calling for ministers to denominational schools from excluding teachers and students just because of their religion.

Currently some faith schools will only hire teachers of the same faith and set a cap on how many no believer students can be admitted.

The group is composed by representatives of the Anglican, Catholic Methodist, United Reformed, Unitarian and Quaker Churches, along with the Hindu, Muslim and Jewish faiths.

It said: "We value faith but do not wish it to be abused, be it for jumping ahead of others to gain entrance to a popular school, or blinkering children's educational experiences.

"Faith can be a means of enriching children's lives, but it can also be used to segregate and sow seeds of suspicion. We are calling for a rebalancing of how faith affects the school years of children."

On Premier's News Hour the chair of the coalition, Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain, said discrimination in faith schools will lead to children becoming ghettoised and segregated from the rest of society.

He said: "There's no other part of public state funded institutions where you could be selected or turned away because of your religion.

"It's unthinkable, it would be immoral. It couldn't happen in hospitals, civil service, whatever.

"And yet that is exactly what's happening in our schools."

Hear more from Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain:

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