House of Commons Library

Faith Schools: FAQs

Published Friday, June 9, 2017

This House of Commons Library briefing discusses what makes faith schools in England different. It answers FAQs and provides key statistics.

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The Library regularly receives enquiries from Members relating to faith schools, and the particular arrangements in place relating to them. This note provides answers to some of the most common questions raised, and also some relevant statistical information. It is not intended to be a definitive guide to faith schools, but rather to provide answers to those frequently raised issues. It deals with faith schools in the state-funded sector.

The FAQs addressed are:

  • What is a faith school?
  • Can faith schools use faith-based criteria in their admissions policies?
  • What can faith schools teach in Religious Education?
  • Can faith schools use faith as a criteria when hiring staff?
  • Do any particular criteria apply in the inspection of faith schools?
  • Can schools become faith schools when converting to academy status?
  • Can faith schools teach creationism?
  • Do children attending faith schools have particular rights to school transport?
  • What do faith schools have to teach about same sex marriage?

 Statistics are provided on:

  • Number of faith schools
  • Types of faith school
  • Secondary school performance

This note relates to England only.

Commons Briefing papers SN06972

Authors: Robert Long; Paul Bolton

Topic: Schools

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