What Makes a Church School Different?

All schools have many common values but how are Church schools different; collective worship, for example.

Archbishop Runcie

  • Nourish those of the faith
  • Encourage those of other faiths
  • Challenge those who have no faith

Dr Rowan Williams, A Christian school is one in which the atmosphere has that kind of openness about it, that sense that people are worth spending time with, that people need time to grow, need loving attention. The Christian Gospel says that every person has a unique task to do, with God, and for God, whether they know it or not.

It doesnt necessarily mean than everyone involved has to share the same theology or philosophy. It doesnt mean that everyone knows that they have this relationship with God, and is consciously working at it. But a Christian school is one in which the entire atmosphere is pervaded by the conviction that there is something mysterious, and potentially wonderful, in everybody.

  • The importance of a sense of direction.
  • Impact on performance
  • Inclusive
  • www.christianvalues4schools.co.uk
  • Reverance
  • Wisdom
  • Thankfullness
  • Humility
  • Endurance
  • Service
  • Compassion
  • Trust
  • Peace
  • Forgiveness
  • Friendship
  • Justice
  • Hope
  • Creation
  • Koinonia fellowship and community but self giving
  • Impact on all we do the whole curriculum
  • Geography its Gods world look after it awe and wonder

The main benefits of CE status:-

  • The school has more freedom
  • it has more support - all the support of the LA plus the diocese - plus the close support from being a member of the CE family of schools
  • closer links with the community through the local churches

Whats different?

  • The Trust deed and Instrument of government upholds the CE nature of the school
  • Collective worship from broadly Christian to in accordance with foundation i.e. CE/Christian
  • Governance Foundation governors - Foundation Governors are appointed by the Diocese, they have a Statutory responsibility to promote the religious foundation of the school. The Parish priest is an ex-officio foundation governor. In VA schools foundation governors are in the majority but in VC and Foundation Schools there are only 2 or 3 foundation governors with a profession of faith.
  • Inspection SIAS
    • Part of the Ofsted process
    • Inspector appointed and monitored by diocese
    • Supportive and helpful feedback to the school
    • Grades 1-4
    • Focus for development
    • Published
    • How well does the school, through its distinctive Christian character, meet the needs of all learners
    • What is the impact of Collective Worship on the school community?
    • How effective is Religious Education? (VA+)
    • How effective are the leadership and management of the school as a church school?

Policies and plans influenced by CE Foundation

Land and buildings

The starting point should be that the site would be transferred to Diocese Board of Finance as trustee. We would prepare a trust deed recording the standard C of E trusts. This is definitely what should happen with a new aided school. If the school is to be controlled the Local Authority may offer a long lease which would terminate if the school closed.

Voluntary Aided Voluntary Controlled
staff Staff are employed by the Governing Body. Can give preference to Christian Staff are employed by the LA. Can give consideration to Christian
RE Religious education follows the Diocesan guidelines Religious Education follows the Agreed Syllabus (SACRE) no change
Building work The Governing Body is responsible for Capital Work, but receives grant of 90% for approved work. All building works funded by the LA no change
governors Church governors are in an absolute majority on the Governing Body No single group of governors hold a majority on the Governing Body
admissions The Governing Body decides admission criteria The LA decides admission criteria
inspection Diocese Inspects RE RE is part of Ofsted

The 10% is not necessarily a burden because it gives the governors freedom -

Schools often find that they can save more than the 10% because they have the freedom to shop around.

VA buildings - as a general rule - are in better state than community schools

What the Diocese do

  • Inspection
  • Governance
  • Training RE Worship
  • Strategic support succession planning, appointments, HR, leadership and management, academies, federation
  • Admissions
  • School organisation
  • Buildings
  • Church and schools
  • And will probably be more

Process of conversion

Legal aspects

  • Apply for faith designation
  • LA must close the school
  • Therefore exemption from new school competition
  • New school notices Diocese as proposer
  • School opens new Instrument
  • TUPE

Therefore all requirements of statutory process i.e. consultation process and defined process on timelines.


  • To include staff and governor training
  • Vision and values
  • Governor appointments
  • Notices
  • Legal transfer arrangements
  • Consultation
Page last updated: Tuesday 9th July 2019 9:06 PM
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