London, Mar.2 : New research has revealed that faith schools in Britain prefer to take in children from rich backgrounds to those from the poorest backgrounds nationwide.
According to a report in the Guardian newspaper, new figures show that the British school system is getting deeply divided by social class because religious schools are admitting 10 per cent fewer poor pupils than is representative of the local area. ocal authority schools take in 30 per cent more and have a disproportionately deprived intake.
The paper quotes Rebecca Allen, an academic at the Institute of Education, as saying that: "Faith school intakes are more affluent than the areas in which they are located."
That is despite the fact that schools are expected to reflect the social make-up of the communities they serve. Other research by Allen suggests that some of the schools are using the fact that they can select by religion as a way of picking out middle-class pupils.
Those running faith schools have rebutted the claims.
A spokesman for the Department for Children, Schools and Families pointed out that all schools have to adhere to a tough new admissions code that outlawed any unfair practices that could lead to social segregation, and had a duty to promote community cohesion.
Meanwhile, more evidence has emerged of tricks used by schools to select through the back door despite the new code. Researchers found head teachers who asked parents to come in to collect a prospectus, attend pre-admissions meetings and write letters of reference for their child.
Last week, it emerged that as many as half the children in some areas could miss out on their first choice of secondary schools.
Now, figures obtained by the Tories suggest parents could also struggle with primary schools. It showed that 44,859 pupils would not get their first preference.