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Last Updated: Sunday, 8 October 2006, 14:15 GMT 15:15 UK
Muslim schools into state sector
On the Politics Show, Sunday 08 October 2006, Jon Sopel interviewed Shadow Education Secretary, David Willetts.

Shadow Education Secretary, David Willetts
'I think that it would be better if we had more Muslim schools in the maintained sector'

Muslim schools should be brought into the state sector, the Conservative Education spokesman David Willetts told the Politics Show.

And he raised concerns that requiring a minimum proportion of the school to be from other faiths might be bad for integration if it meant that they "gave up all attempts to join the maintained sector".

Mr Willetts told the Politics Show: "There is a massive issue here and obviously it particularly arises with the Muslim schools and this is where there is an enormous potential to make a great contribution to the great integration of Muslims in to the community.

"Because there are many independent Muslim schools that wish to join the maintained sector and the crucial negotiation that is now underway, is the terms on which Muslim schools join the maintained sector.

"And if we can get those terms right that they do reach out to the wider community, then there is enormous potential to make that a contribution...

"I think that this idea of a requirement on all faith schools to do this, would be deeply opposed by the Catholic Church, for reasons that I fully understand, and would probably mean that the Muslim schools gave up all attempts to join the maintained sector.

"I think that it would be better if we had more Muslim schools in the maintained sector and we have to work very carefully to get them in on the best possible terms for everyone."

Let us know what you think.

The Politics Show Sunday 08 October 2006 at 12.00pm on BBC One.

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08 Oct 06 |  Politics Show


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