About Church Schools

To see general information about Church of England Schools, click here.

To see the Church of England Vision for Education document, click here.

Church schools pride themselves in providing an education for the whole child in a Christian environment. They seek to ensure that all children and young people achieve the best of which they are capable in a caring atmosphere that recognises the special gifts of each individual. The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of all is fostered within a Christian environment. Moral teaching is based firmly within the teaching of the Bible. They enable children and their families to explore the truths of Christian faith, to develop spiritually and morally, and to have a basis for choice about Christian commitment. They are places where the beliefs and practices of other faiths will be respected.

The types of church school within the state education sector are voluntary controlled, voluntary aided, foundation schools (all maintained by the Local Authority (LA)) and academies.  The categories, aided or controlled, refer to a schools' association with the LA.

In a controlled school, the Church appoints some of the governors, and the collective worship is in accordance with the teachings of the Church of England. Religious Education follows the same syllabus as for community schools, although parents can request teaching in accordance with the teachings of the Church of England. Church trustees normally own the buildings, but the LA is responsible for maintaining them. The LA employs the staff and controls admissions.

In an aided school, the Church appoints the majority of the governors, the collective worship and Religious Education is in accordance with the teachings of the Church of England. The Governing Body of the school is responsible for the buildings (which are normally owned by Church trustees), they employ the staff and are responsible for setting the admissions criteria.

In a foundation church school, the Church appoints some governors, the collective worship is in accordance with the teachings of the Church of England (the Religious Education may be). The Governing Body of the school is responsible for the buildings (which are normally owned by Church trustees, but the LA is responsible for maintaining them), they employ the staff and are responsible for setting the admissions criteria.

In academies and free schools, the arrangements for the school are determined by documents individually agreed with the Secretary of State for Education.  The Governing Body and Academy Trust of the school are responsible for the buildings, they employ the staff and are responsible for setting the admissions criteria. In Church academies, the collective worship is in accordance with the teachings of the Church of England

All types of church school are highly regarded by the Church and are seen as an important part of its work. They provide a secure Christian education for children throughout the country. Across the country, one quarter of all primary schools are Church of England schools.

For a brief history of Church of England schools, click here.

For information about the distinctiveness of Church of England schools, click here.

For information about the difference between the types of Church of England school, click here.

More information about these subjects can be found in 'The Way Ahead' which can be downloaded here.

To see The Church School of the Future Review, click here.

For information about Church of England schools in this Diocese, click here.

For information about what to do with the buildings and site of former church schools, click here.


When a school closes
How to deal with a former church school building and site when it is closed

Different types of Church of England Schools
Major Differences between categories of Church schools

Distinctiveness
The distinctiveness of Church of England Schools

History of C of E Schools
A brief history of Church of England Schools