Polly Toynbee: Faith schools may be Blair’s most damaging legacy
Children start their new schools this week for the 12th year under Labour. Who could have predicted that more pupils than ever will be going to religious schools this term, as the churches boasted gleefully? Pews empty but faith schools multiply. There are about 14,000 non-religious schools, and nearly 7,000 faith schools. This year the figure has risen again as new academies open: a third are faith-run – and religions have taken over some community schools. Next year 13 more new faith schools open, mostly Christian with three Muslim. This risks being among the most indelibly damaging of Tony Blair’s social legacies, his permanent bequest to his own beliefs.
Polly Toynbee is President of the British Humanist Association