Church of England to reduce school places for Christians

The Church of England is planning to put a strict limit on the number of places reserved for pupils from Christian families as part of the biggest shake-up of faith schools' admissions policies for decades.

The Right Reverend John Pritchard, chairman of its board of education and the Bishop of Oxford, wants to see only 10 per cent of places reserved for Christian families. This would be a complete reversal of present policy, which can lead to as many as 90 per cent of places being reserved. The Bishop said he did not believe the Church's 4,800 schools should only be for collecting "nice Christians into safe places" but had a duty to work with the wider community.

The guidance will form part of a new document on admissions to be published later this summer. "I'm really committed to schools being as open as they can be," he told The Times Educational Supplement. "I know there are philosophies that say these schools are for our church families but I have never been as convinced of that as others."

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