Scheme for new voluntary aided schools

By Jordan Reynolds | Shrewsbury | News | Published:

The prime minister has told Shrewsbury's MP of plans for a grant to support new voluntary aided schools.

Shrewsbury and Atcham MP Daniel Kawczynski

Theresa May was responding to Shrewsbury and Atcham MP Daniel Kawczynski after he urged her to keep a "promise" over lifting the admissions cap for faith schools.

He had expressed his disappointment at the government’s decision not to lift the cap on admissions to faith schools.

But Mrs May wrote to Mr Kawczynski to say that after the "schools that work for everyone" consultation the government decided not to proceed with the removal of the admissions cap for faith schools - which means that faith designated free schools currently can only accept half of their students from one particular faith and, after this point, are prevented from accepting any more students of the same faith.

She said: "I believe that the retention of the cap sends an important signal about the need for faith-designated free schools to be inclusive and welcoming to pupils of all faiths and none."

Mrs May added that the cap does not prevent the schools from accepting more pupils of their faith beyond the limits of the cap - if they meet the other admissions criteria.

She added: "I recognise that this decision has meant that the Catholic Church feels unable to open new schools via the free schools route.

"To help address this, the government will establish a capital scheme to support the creation of new voluntary aided schools.

"Schools created through this scheme will have the same freedoms as existing voluntary aided schools, including over their admissions, and will not be subject to the 50 per cent cap."

Mrs May said she will be announcing details of this scheme later in the year.

Jordan Reynolds

By Jordan Reynolds
Reporter - @jreynolds_star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star.


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