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Last Updated: Friday, 18 March, 2005, 09:22 GMT
'Faith' academy faces criticism
The authorities are being warned the creation of a city academy in Leicester could cause trouble in the area.

The Church of England and businessman David Samworth are providing 2m for the school on Saffron Lane.

But the National Coalition and Building Institute, which promotes equality, fears the involvement of the Church will alienate people from other faiths.

But the Leicester Diocese, which is backing the project, says it will serve the needs of the whole community.

We want a rethink of how this money is being spent in the area and far better consultation with local people
Allan Hayes, Leicester Action for Community schools
The Church of England and a local businessman David Samworth are putting 2m towards the cost of the 20m academy.

Val Carpenter, the director of the National Coalition and Building Institute, felt there was an assumption the children going to the academy would be Christian and this would isolate other faiths and communities.

She said: "This gives out the message that these people are not as important, are not as significant, as others."

When asked whether the academy might be a catalyst for violence, she added: "It could be. What happens is people become so frustrated with the way they have been marginalised and their needs have not been met, that that is what makes things blow up."

Peter Taylor, the director of Education for the Leicester Diocese, said there was a lot of misunderstanding about what was meant by a 'faith school'.

Right motivation

"The church is committed to serving communities and serving the needs of people.

"The school is not going to be one which is generating new Christians or try and turn people into believers of any sort, we are there to serve."

Allan Hayes from campaign group Leicester Action for Community Schools, said: "We want a rethink of how this money is being spent in the area and far better consultation with local people.

"We have to bring people in as properly involved and wishing to see success rather than just telling them what is good for them."


SEE ALSO:
Why the fuss over city academies?
17 Mar 05 |  Education
City academy plans get approval
15 Feb 05 |  Leicestershire
'Superschool' plans move closer
30 Dec 04 |  Leicestershire


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