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Faith schools on the increase in Kirklees

The number of faith schools in Kirklees has increased from one in every four to one in three over the last couple of years

The number of faith schools in Kirklees has increased from one in every four to one in three over the last couple of years.

According to the Department for Education (DfE), nearly 33% of Kirklees schools were religion-based in 2013, compared with 24.2% in 2011.

However, this is broadly in line with the national average. Part of the increase is due to the fact that there are now only 208 schools in the district, compared with 219 in 2011.

By far the majority of schools - 140 - are classed as either non-faith or “unknown”, where a religion has not been stated. North Huddersfield Trust School, The Mirfield Free Grammar and Sixth Form, Castle Hall Academy Trust and Batley Grammar School all fall into the latter category.

The number of Church of England schools has remained unchanged at 49, as has the number of Muslim schools at six. Four of these are in Dewsbury: Institute of Islamic Education, Madni Muslim Girls’ High School, Al-Furqaan Preparatory School and Paradise Primary School. The other two are Zakaria Muslim Girls’ High School, Batley, and Islamia Girls’ High School, Thornton Lodge.

Three schools, including Huddersfield Grammar School, class themselves as “Christian”, while 10 are Roman Catholic. In Huddersfield these are the primary schools of St Joseph’s, St Patrick’s and Our Lady of Lourdes and All Saints Catholic College, Bradley.

Academically, secular schools in Kirklees have a slight edge over faith schools, with 0.6% better results for pupils at GCSE level. Nationally, faith school pupils achieve 3.6% better results than pupils in non-faith schools.

Calderdale now has 33 faith schools, compared with 25 in 2011, a rise from 20% to 27.5%. It has far better GCSE results than Kirklees, with 75% of pupils in faith schools and 66.8% of non-faith school students getting five good GCSE passes, including maths and English. (Kirklees: 56.3%, 57%).

Nationally, the statistics show a dramatic rise in the number of English faith schools, from 5,448 in 2011 to 8,334 last year, now one in three of all schools.

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