In their November Plenary meeting, the Bishops of England and Wales reaffirmed their opposition to the 50% admissions cap.
Since 2010 the 50% cap has effectively banned the opening of any new Catholic Free Schools. This is because the Bishops couldn’t countenance the opening of Catholic school which turned away Catholic children because they were Catholic.
Their full resolution read:
Further to its resolution of November 2013, the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales reiterates its position that the imposition of the 50% cap on the control of admissions is not a secure basis for the provision of Catholic education in England.
The provision of education is fundamental to the mission of the Church in England and Wales and, in line with their canonical responsibilities, Bishops will continue to strive to provide a Catholic school place for every Catholic child in their respective dioceses.
Prior to the June 2017 General Election, the Bishops’ Conference welcomed the Government’s commitment to remove the 50% admissions cap as set out in the Conservative Party manifesto.
The principle of parental choice is fundamental to both Catholic education and the current educational policy in England and Wales, and for more than 150 years Catholic parents have had the opportunity to choose a Catholic education for their children.
Therefor the Bishops’ Conference welcomes the supportive comments made by the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Education about Catholic schools and their acknowledgement that the admissions cap is an issue which actively targets the Catholic community, as Catholic parents are the principle religious minority adversely affected by the admissions cap.
We therefore call on the Government to honour its Manifesto commitment.
The Bishops are now urging Catholics to write to the Secretary of State for Education urging her to keep the Government’s manifesto commitment.
You can write to the Secretary of State by clicking on this link: http://catholicnews.org.uk/education-cap