The opening of more Islamic faith schools should be stopped amid fears they will fuel social segregation, according to teachers.
Government plans to create more state-funded Muslim schools will divide communities along racial and religious lines, it is claimed.
They risk creating a situation similar to that in Northern Ireland where some educated teenagers fail to meet students of the opposite faith until they go to university, according to Voice, the teaching union.
In a speech to the union's annual conference next week, one teacher will claim Labour's policy to expand Muslim schools is "about trying to defend minorities".
Last year, Ed Balls, the schools secretary, pledged to remove "unnecessary barriers" to religious groups bidding to open their own schools.
He said additional money would be made available to allow the hundreds of private religious schools to convert to the state sector. The move raised the prospect of more schools for faiths including Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus, which have few schools of their own, despite representing significant minority groups.
Speaking at the conference, Wesley Paxton, a further education lecturer from Hull, will say: "More faith schools in 2008 is probably going to mean more Islamic schools." [Link]
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