2010 inclusive schools award launched

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The Accord Coalition has launched its 2010 Accord Award.

The Award, which was first launched last year, seeks to recognise the achievements of state maintained schools that celebrate the diversity of religious and non-religious beliefs within the school and wider community that goes beyond the school’s legal requirements on inclusion and equality.

The Accord Coalition was launched in September 2008 to bring together religious and non religious organisations campaigning for an end to religious discrimination in school staffing and admissions.

The Coalition also campaigns for a fair and balanced RE curriculum, for pupils to receive Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education, the removal of the requirement for compulsory collective worship, but does not take a position for or against faith schools in principle.

Its growing list of members and supporters include the British Humanist Association, the Christian think tank Ekklesia, the British Muslims for Secular Democracy, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers and members from the four largest groupings in parliament.

The Award is open to all state funded schools and was won last year by Manorside Primary School in North London, with runners up being the Anglo-European School in Essex and Balshaw’s Church of England High School in Leyland, Lancashire.

This year’s Award will be judged by a panel of experts including:

  • Dr Mary Bousted, General Secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers.
  • Baroness Kishwer Falkner, expert on human rights and multiculturalism.
  • Fiona Millar, journalist and education campaigner.
  • Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain MBE, minister of the Maidenhead Synagogue and Chair of The Accord Coalition.

The deadline for entries is 5pm on Monday 10th November and prizes will be awarded in the New Year.

The judges will be looking for schools that have an ethos that celebrates inclusion and that pride themselves on building links within and between communities. The winning school will be announced in the local and national press. Details on the Accord Award can be found at the organisation’s website.

Launching the 2010 Award, Accord Coalition Chair Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain said: "Many people sit back complain about the state of our schools. However, The Accord Coalition does the reverse and is committed to seeking out and rewarding those schools that are inclusive, tolerant and transparent.

"Many schools are remarkably successful at improving cohesion and it is time that those institutions that work hard to build bridges between the different ethnic and religion or belief communities are praised."

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