In an open letter to Flintshire County Council, community organisation TCC has condemned the local authority’s proposals to no longer provide free school transport to faith schools for children who cannot provide evidence of their faith, calling the proposals “discriminatory” and “dangerous”.
Lead organiser for TCC Kay Polley said “At first most people presumed the proposals just could not be legal, as they are so openly discriminatory. Flintshire’s only faith secondary school is Catholic, so this would bring an extra cost to any pupil wanting to go there who is from any other Christian or other faith background, as well as children from none at all. It seems impossible that a local authority could treat people differently because of their religion or belief”.
The results of the proposals would mean there could be two children living next-door to each other, travelling to the same school, but one would have to pay for their own transport. It could also mean that a family has to send siblings to different schools, as the proposals would impact upon younger siblings not yet in secondary school.
However, what shocked people the most was that face that the local authority could be determining whether a child has a particular faith or not. Kay continued “It’s very binary and simplistic – the Council is saying you’re either in the denomination or you’re not. Then to demand proof of a child’s faith is absolutely absurd.”
“The proposals would only serve to segregate children on faith grounds, which is not very in keeping with the Council’s commitments to equality and fostering relations between communities. Whatever your own views on the proposals, it’s important that you have your say in the consultation”
Flintshire County Council’s consultation is open until 12th April; an online questionnaire can be filled in by clicking here.
You can read the letter sent to the Council from TCC here.