Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Missing the point on faith schools

Madeleine Bunting:

In the vituperative debate on faith schools, a continuing programme of research from the London School of Economics has been used as ammunition by the critics, as it shows that faith schools have a lower proportion of children on free school meals. Critics accuse them of "cherry-picking" the more affluent pupils. But… we don't know whether this is evidence of faith schools choosing more affluent pupils or of a bigger proportion of their applicants coming from more affluent homes.

Either way, though, this still means that any claims faith schools might make of better exam results are likely to be due to their better-off intake, and that they contribute to the economic polarisation of education.

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