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Faith quotas scrapped

by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2006-10-27

Plans to force Jewish and other faith schools in England to accept children from other religions have been scrapped by the Government.

Only last week, Education Secretary Alan Johnson said he was looking at ways in which schools would have to reserve 25% of places to pupils of other faiths.

The Jewish community along with other faith groups sought meetings earlier in the week to let Johnson know of their concern if they were forced to admit pupils from other faiths.

"We will leave no stone unturned to ensure that the Government hears the united voice of opposition to this rushed, ill-thought out and illogical proposal," said Board of Deputies president Henry Grunwald earlier this week.

But now, Johnson says he has reached a "voluntary agreement" with Roman Catholic and church of England schools and will not need to force them to accept children from other faiths.

"As we now have the support of the two major faith organisations in the country for our proposed way forward, I do not feel the legislative route is necessary or appropriate and no longer propose to lay an amendment to the Education and Inspection Bill," he said in a letter.