CofE Statement: admissions to Church schools

Further to the media interest resulting from the dropping faith selection criteria by St Luke’s Primary School in Kingston (Southwark diocese), here and here, today the Church of England has issued the following statement.

Statement on school admissions

28 April 2015

Statement on school admissions given to BBC Radio 4 following church school in Southwark diocese announcing it will no longer use church attendance as a selection criterion

Revd Nigel Genders, the Church of England’s chief education officer said:

“Church schools take pupils from all faiths and none reflecting the communities they serve.

The majority of Church of England schools do not prioritise their places on the basis of church attendance, and most of those that do still make places available for children in the school’s immediate community.¬†Our ¬†secondary schools have an average of 10% selection by religious criteria – this is based on church attendance only. We also have as many pupils on free school meals as the national average, some much higher.

New Church of England schools, which are being established to meet the pressure on pupil places in a locality, are using distance from the school as the criterion for at least half of the intake, but in most cases for even more than that. But every context is different and schools use their criteria to best serve the interests of their community – wherever they are. It is for the local governing body to decide and they are best placed to understand the nuances of their own context.

That’s why our schools are not faith schools for Christians but Church schools for all.”

Cite this article as: David Pocklington, "CofE Statement: admissions to Church schools" in Law & Religion UK, 28 April 2015,

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