Almost 40 leading academics, peers and clerics are backing calls for a sweeping inquiry into the role of religion in British schools in the wake of the Trojan Horse scandal.

In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, the signatories, ranging from prominent atheists to Christian and Jewish clergy, say parts of the education system are becoming "insular and divisive" and that clear rules about how far faith groups should influence schools are now urgently needed.

They say that despite a stream of education reforms in recent decades basic questions about the place of religion in the classroom have not been properly debated for 70 years.

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