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Bishop Marcus Stock, Bishop Chair of the Catholic Education Service (CES), has welcomed the decision by the Education Secretary, Gillian Keegan, to lift the faith-based admissions cap on new free schools in England.

The decision paves the way for Catholic free schools to open, having previously been excluded under the 50 percent cap or ‘rule’ which would have forced schools to turn away some Catholic pupils.

Bishop Stock, Bishop of Leeds, said:

'These proposals are welcome. Dioceses are well placed to respond to differing local educational demands around the country, including the provision for children with special educational needs and disabilities. Parents can welcome this also.

'Catholic education not only provides a high performing school sector and promotes the formation of children in values and virtues; it is more ethnically diverse than other schools, educates more pupils from the most deprived backgrounds, and builds social cohesion within our communities.'

The decision is subject to a seven-week public consultation that closes on 20 June 2024.

You can make your views known at the following link:

Online consultation to lift the faith-based admissions cap


Photos: Mazur/