What is Distinctive About a Church School?

Church schools have significant similarities with community schools, such as following the National Curriculum, being inspected by OFSTED and are within the jurisdiction of the Local Education Authority (LEA). However, there are also significant differences, such as voluntary schools being owned by trustees, and all maintained schools are legally required to provide daily collective worship.

What is the Difference Between an Aided and Controlled School?

Voluntary Aided and Voluntary Controlled schools came in to being as a result of the 1944 Education Act. Previously, church schools were largely funded by income from historic trusts or from parish giving. Post war it became apparent that many of the church school buildings were in need of substantial repair and an agreement was entered into by the church and state to transfer a degree of control to the state.

Two options were agreed: to become controlled by the LEA, and to become aided, meaning shared financial costs with the LEA and government. Approximately 60% of schools opted to become Voluntary Controlled with the remainder becoming Aided schools.

Academy Trust Schools

Academies are publicly funded independent schools. Most of these are multi-academy trusts, of which there are two variations:

  1. Some multi-academy trusts have local governing bodies for each academy in the trust. They operate as a committee of the trust and may have less autonomy and fewer delegated powers than the governing body of single converter academies.
  2. Other multi-academy trusts are organised like a hard federation, so the academy trust is directly responsible for all the schools in the group with no local governing bodies, although there may be academy committees.

Different School Status

The following document comprehensively compares different church school status – Voluntary Aided, Voluntary Controlled and Academy.

Download Academies, VA and VC Download