What Does it Mean to be a Church of England School?
What does it mean to be a Church of England School?
A Church of England school is, like community schools, funded through the Local Authority, but the building is owned by the Diocese of Southwark. In line with the Church of England, all children are welcome at our school - whether they are from a Christian faith, an other faith or of no faith. A majority of the governing body posts are 'Foundation' governors, with a specific role to support the ethos of the school. Church schools set their own admission criteria - our admissions criteria can be found in the 'school information' section of the website.
"A Christian school is one in which the atmosphere has the 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 doesn't necessarily mean that everyone involved has to share the same theology or philosophy. It doesn't 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 a conviction that there is something mysterious, and potentially wonderful, in everybody." (Archbishop of Canterbury)
Church schools undergo SIAMS (church-run) inspections as well as government OFSTED inspections. SIAMS inspection focuses on the impact of the Church school's Christian vision on pupils and adults. This involves looking at the school’s Christian vision, the provision the school makes because of this vision and how effective this provision is in enabling all pupils to flourish. Church schools will employ a variety of strategies and styles appropriate to, and reflective of, their particular context in order to be distinctively and effectively Christian in their character and ethos. SIAMS inspectors therefore do not look for a set template of what a Church school should be like, but rather take the particular context of the school into account and base their evaluation on the outcomes rather than the process.
The Evaluation Schedule has one inspection question: how effective is the school’s distinctive Christian vision, established and promoted by leadership at all levels, in enabling pupils and adults to flourish?
This is explored through seven strands:
- Vision and Leadership
- Wisdom, Knowledge and Skills
- Character Development: Hope, Aspiration and Courageous Advocacy
- Community and Living Well Together
- Dignity and Respect
- The impact of collective worship
- The effectiveness of religious education
One overall grade is awarded reflecting the contribution of these strands to the flourishing of pupils and adults in a Church school.
A copy of the latest report can be found in the ‘Achievement & Performance’ part of the website.