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Church schools as islands of inclusion

Church schools as islands of inclusion

Most people in the West tend to think of a “church school” as a place where people, who object to the political correctness and secular morals of a public education, send their children to be educated in a way that supports their family values. And that’s certainly the case for many private Christian academies here in the States. But in England the schools run by the Church of England are some of the only places where children can be educated in a climate that represents a true cross-section of their communities.

Nick Baines in the Guardian writes:

“A church school – in the way the Church of England understands it – is not confessional. Church of England schools are established primarily for the communities they are located in. They are inclusive and serve equally those who are of the Christian faith, of other faiths and of no faith. Their Christian ethos is underpinned by Christian values concerned for the wellbeing of all in the community, irrespective of religious, cultural or socio-economic background. Rooted in an understanding that we “love God and love our neighbour as ourself”, they seek to offer the highest quality of education and care for all pupils – reflecting both the teaching of the Gospel and the mission of the Church of England to serve the whole community.

The facts? Try these for starters.

An increasing number of schools in Bradford are becoming mono-ethnic and monoreligious. However, this is not a result of the presence of church schools (which in Bradford reflect the makeup of their local community), but rather to do with the demographics of the city. In inner-city Bradford, Church of England schools are some of the relatively few that are multireligious and multi-ethnic. They serve areas of multiple deprivation and many schools have a majority of pupils of non-white British heritage.”

More here.

That’s certainly true for the Episcopal schools here in Arizona, and the ones that I’m familiar with in the Mid-Atlantic and New England. Is it true where you are? Do the schools point this out when they do their recruiting of new students? Should they?


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