Considering them an attractive option, Muslim parents are now sending their children to Christian schools to prepare them for “life in modern Britain”, said chief education officer at the Church of England.
According to Rev Nigel Genders, Muslim families see Christian schools as a great option that allows their children to mix with the wider community from a very young age.
Speaking to the Telegraph he said that some schools can easily ‘squeeze out’ religious education from the curriculum but Church schools actually take faith seriously.
“You never quite know what people’s motives are. Part of the feedback we get about why parents choose our schools is they know they will get a much more diverse sense of community rather than being separated out.”
The chief education officer’s comments come after it emerged that Muslim pupils outnumber Christian children in over 30 church schools.
Genders said, “we constantly hear from Muslim parents who tell us that they choose our schools precisely because we take faith seriously and offer an approach to education that gives attention to spiritual as well as academic development.
They welcome the opportunity to send their children to a school which will ensure mutual understanding of faiths whilst being clear about the Christian heritage and underpinning narrative on which its ethos and values are based.”
He added that “Like the millions of others who have attended such a school, they know that we prepare children for life in modern Britain and a world that is increasingly connected.”
Referring to US President Donald Trump’s immigration ban on nationals from seven majority-Muslim countries, Genders added: “We are proud that our Church of England schools are modelling an education where no passports are required and the doors are wide open to the communities they serve.”
Around a million school children in England attend one of the Church’s 4,700 schools, and around half of its schools do not select on faith. Last autumn, the government announced proposals to relax rules that currently prevent faith schools from selecting more than half of pupils according to religion.
In its response to the proposals, the Church of England said it would not push for schools to be allowed to select more than 50% of pupils based on faith.
This story originally appeared on Telegraph.