6th May 2014 – For immediate release
In a debate in Parliament on Wednesday 30th April, MPs from all political parties and both front benches voiced their support for Catholic education.
The debate on 'Catholic Schools (Admissions)' was led by Damian Hinds, MP for East Hampshire, and focused around the contribution that Catholic schools make to the education sector as well as the role of faith-based admissions to meet parental demand.
In the debate Damian Hinds MP said "Catholic schools are a key part of the education landscape in this country, and have been for a long time. They are diverse—more diverse, in fact, than the average—and that diversity includes already having a substantial proportion of non-Catholic children. They also have something special about them, and that specialness comes at least partly as a direct result of their religious nature."
Kevin Brennan MP, Shadow Minster for Education, said "Catholic schools are extremely diverse, often with large numbers of people from immigrant backgrounds."
David Laws MP, Minister for Schools, said "Catholic schools in particular generally outperform other types of state school. Last year, at primary level, 81% of pupils in Catholic schools achieved level 4 and above in reading, writing and maths at key stage 2, compared with 75% of pupils at all state schools. At secondary level, 67% of students secured five good GCSEs, including English and maths, in contrast to 61% of students at all state schools in 2013."
Greg Pope, Deputy Director of CES, said "We welcome these comments in Parliament. The success of Catholic education is founded upon the hard work of staff and pupils and it is right that MPs should praise their ongoing achievements. The CES will continue to work closely with both the Government and the opposition to ensure that Catholic schools provide a high standard of education to all families who seek it."