A number of reports have indicated the growing pressure on application for places at primary school some national and others relate to London.What's interesting about these stories is how superficial they are. The reports mention one in ten parents missing out on their first choice but avoid any mention of the faith or ethnicity of the kids apparently losing out.
Consider the following:
Third of all Muslims live in London
Third of Muslims are under the age of 16
6% of the total school population ie 500,000 is Muslim
Muslims go to some of the highest segregated schools in the country
Levels of free school meals within the Muslim community is amongst the highest in the country.
As a result London Muslim decided to ask a sample of local authorities in London with fairly significant Muslim populations the following question.
The total number and percentage of Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh and Muslim local children who received offers at their first choice of primary and secondary school
"We do not collect data on religion at any point during the application process so we are unable to generate the percentages"
"Unfortunately we do not hold information about children’s religion so we are unable to answer this request".
Hammersmith & Fulham
"Unfortunately we do not hold such records. All parents applying for secondary and primary school places are required to complete a Common Application Form. Information as to their religious affiliation is neither requested nor required as it does not have a bearing on the admissions process for Community Schools and the LA does not make decisions as to who will be offered places in Faith Schools. The LA's role in law is to administer and co-ordinate the application process. In law, it is the Governing Body of Faith Schools that decide who best meets the faith criteria for their school. The position therefore is that we do not hold the information requested".
"information about the religion/faith of applicants is not collected by the LA".
Forgive me for sounding conspiratorial here but I fear a cover up. The reason often cited for the pressure on schools particularly in urban areas is demographic ie the birth rate. Well the Muslim community is one of the fastest growing groups in the country with around 80% living in just 5 conurbations.
The reason local authorities claim they do no have figures particularly in London is because there is anecdotal evidence that it is Muslim kids who may be most disadvantaged by not getting into their first choice of schools fuelling the demand within the Muslim community for more Muslim faith schools.
How on earth is Govt going to be able to tackle the resentment within the Muslim community about their treatment in a number of areas eg highest unemployment 16%, highest group with no qualifications etc if the root problem of access to good state primary schools is not addressed ?
JALAN - JALAN
6 hours ago