Education Secretary supports increased church role in schooling
Education Secretary Michael Gove has said that he will ensure that the Church of England plays a greater role in the provision of schooling.
He told the House of Commons yesterday (April 16) that “we praise and cherish the role of the Church of England in making sure children have an outstanding and inclusive education”.
He “looked forward to working with Bishop John Pritchard to extend the role of the Church in the provision of schools.”
He also praised the Church for “driving in the first instance” the provision of education.
His remarks have been interpreted to signal his backing for new Church of England schools, andmay provide some reassurance to those who have questioned whether Mr Gove’s support for faith schools was ebbing.
Mr Gove’s comments follow a recent review from the Church of England’s board of education which looked into the potential for setting up new academies.
The Church currently supplies education to more than a million children, and is involved in 4,800 schools. The review discussed the viability of opening new academies, adding to the 154 academies it currently has.
In the most recent league tables, close to two thirds of primaries with “perfect” results were Anglican, Roman Catholic or Jewish schools.
Prime Minister David Cameron has previously said that he is a “strong supporter personally and politically” of faith schools, and that introducing faith into school curricula brought a “culture and ethos” which helped improve its general standards.