All children deserve the best education, wherever they live and whatever their background. Every family in East Devon should be able to access a good school. That is why I welcome the measures announced to create more places across the diverse school system, giving families greater choice and raising standards for pupils.
There are many good or outstanding faith schools and I know that more want to open. The 50 per cent cap on faith admissions for free schools will remain in place, but the Department for Education will help to create new voluntary-aided schools to meet local demand for faith schools. The voluntary-aided route already allows for schools to apply to open with up to 100 per cent faith based admissions.
To support the measures to promote social cohesion, these schools, as with all schools, will continue to be expected to play an active role in their communities. Schools play a vital role in promoting integration and promoting an understanding of different faiths and communities. All schools are expected to be inclusive and fulfil their responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010. I know the Department for Education will continue to work closely with faith schools to promote and support integration.
I appreciate your concerns but I can assure you that all schools are expected to be inclusive and fulfil their responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010. All faith schools have a legal obligation to promote community cohesion and to teach a broad and balanced curriculum. They are required to promote fundamental British values and are inspected by Ofsted on their effectiveness at doing so. I firmly believe that every child deserves the best possible start in life and access to a good school place.