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Prime Minister’s backing for faith schools welcomed

Theresa May's renewed backing for more faith schools, during Prime Minister's Question Time in Parliament today, has been welcomed by Bishop Alan Hopes.

She was asked by Conservative MP Sir Edward Leigh if her Government will be honouring its manifesto pledge to remove the faith-based cap for free schools as "Catholic dioceses up and down the country are anxious to open free schools and some have even purchased sites".

The Prime Minister responded: "My hon Friend will recognise that the reason we put that in our manifesto, and the reason it was in the schools Green Paper that we published before the election, is that we do believe it is important to enable more faith schools to be set up and more faith schools to expand.

"This is an issue that the Secretary of State for Education is considering and she will publish further details on our overall view in terms of improving school diversity and encouraging the creation of more good school places in the near future."

The Diocese of East Anglia is hoping to open up to eight new free schools in the next few years under this pledge and Bishop Alan said: "We welcome the Prime Minister's response today regarding the removal of the cap on faith admissions to faith schools. We remain hopeful that the Education Secretary,Justine Greening,will retain the Government's commitment to this policy.

"More faith schools will mean more diversity and more inclusivity in schools and we continue to urge everyone with an interest in this to write tothe Education Secretary."

If you would like to write to your own MP, or Justine Greening, in support of new Catholic schools, you could consider including some of the templated letter below.

Click here to download a sample letter to your MP.