Diocese of ChichesterDiocese of Chichester

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Christian Distinctiveness

in Church Schools

The Church of England Vision for Education

Church of England schools offer an education that is distinctively Christian. Although each church school will be unique, all church schools will share core values based on the Gospel values. Our church schools should therefore be places where loving God and loving our neighbours, is lived out in the daily life of the school.

All our Schools have the following ethos statement in their Instrument of Government.

"Recognising its historic foundation, the school will preserve and develop its religious character in accordance with the principles of the Church of England and in partnership with the Church at parish and diocesan level.

The school aims to serve its community by providing an education of the highest quality within the context of Christian belief and practice. It encourages an understanding of the meaning and significance of faith and promotes Christian values through the experience if offers all of its pupils"

Expectations of a church school

As a minimum every church school should:

  • Ensure that the school is led by a headteacher committed, (supported by staff and governors), to establishing and maintaining the Christian character of the school
  • Have a meaningful daily act of Collective Worship
  • Incorporate the values of the Christian faith
  • Provide a Christian understanding of the world and the place of humanity within it, reflected in worship and the daily life of the school
  • Work within a framework of discipline that demonstrates a readiness to seek and offer forgiveness
  • Be committed to openness and honesty
  • Begin to share the Christian hope and experience that the greatest power in life and beyond is selfless love
  • Provide a knowledge of how to pray and of liturgy, respecting those of other faiths who cannot engage in the liturgy of Christian worship
  • Provide an awareness of the challenge of the spiritual life within everyday experience
  • Respect the beliefs of other faiths, but be confident in its own by providing an experience of what it is like to live in a community that celebrates the Christian faith
  • Promote a sense of inclusion and involve the leaders of other faiths as appropriate
  • Celebrate the identity and nature of culturally and ethnically diverse groups
  • Ensure religious education is given between 5-10% of curriculum time
  • Ensure that the character and quality of RE is a particular concern of the Headteacher and Governing Body
  • Observe the major Christian festivals, and where other faiths are present, ensure that those faiths are able and encouraged to mark their major festivals with integrity
  • Maintain an active and affirming relationship with the parish church/es
  • Proclaim that it is a church school and confidently share its Christian vision inside and outside the school

[Adapted from The Way Ahead: Church of England Schools in the New Millennium, 2001]

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Church of England Foundation for Education National Conference 2017

Youtube recordings of talks at this conference.  These will give you a fresh understanding of the CofE 'Vision for Education'

David Ford

Ndidi Okezie

Bill Lucas

The Rt. Revd. Libby Lane

Helen Matter

Dame Alison Peacock

Archbishop of York