Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Faith School e-petition update

For some time now on this blog I have been discussing the introduction of a 'faith tax' for those parents who choose to send their children to Catholic schools around the county.

For those who aren't up to speed Leicestershire County Council have been planning on removing all funding for school transport to faith schools thereby costing those parents £240 a year more (a total charge of £490) per child than parents who choose to send their children to catchment area schools.

Around 6 weeks ago I started an e-petition on the Leicestershire County Council website against their discriminatory plans. That e-petition closed yesterday and the results are amazing.

Four times more people signed our e-petition than any other e-petition EVER on the County Council website.

Our e-petition falls only 4 signatures short of containing DOUBLE the number of signatures of the combined total for every e-petition ever hosted on the Leicestershire County Council website (since 1 January 2004).

In total the e-petition received 328 signatures. Whilst in the scale of things this isn't huge compared to some paper petitions IT IS HUGE compared to other e-petitions.

328 people have taken the time to complete a somewhat cumbersome signature process because faith school transport is so important to them.

Faith school parents are not asking for preferential treatment but only the same access to funding as an average catchment area school. Making such vast changes to faith school transport WILL mean that some Catholic parents have to take their children out of their preferred schools.

I must sincerely thank all of those Leicestershire Catholic Headteachers who have supported this petition.

It is now time to say to County Council that people are angry, people are suffering and people will remember.

To the County Council, we have used your own system and have shown on a comparatively vast scale the strength of feeling there is on this matter.

If ever an e-petition has made use of your own system it is this. It is now time to give real consideration to your own scheme or highlight it as an expensive waste of money.

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