Why do we have Church of England schools?

There are many reasons for the existence of Church schools. These can be broadly summarised as follows:

Theological

There are important theological reasons. For instance, Church schools:

  • stand at the centre of the centre of the Church's mission to the nation
  • are a key means through which the church can reach out to the young
  • strive to achieve a balance between service to the community and Christian nurture of young people
  • demonstrate Inclusivity

Historical

There are important historical reasons. These include:

  • The Church's commitment to schooling extends over many centuries
  • The major developments occurred after the formation of the National Society in 1811 which led to the establishment of over 17000 schools
  • The creation of the 'dual system' in which the Church and the State became the providers of schools

Statutory arrangements

Church schools are an important part of statutory arrangements.

  • The Church's entitlement to provide voluntary schools is enshrined in law
  • Defining features of Church schools are protected in law and statutory regulation. This includes some aspects of admissions, staff appointments and curriculum.

Popularity

Overarching all this is the very evident popularity of Church schools in the eyes of parents who value the distinctive, but inclusive, ethos, mission and values.

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