Schools of a religious character

This section of the Handbook has drawn together short introductory outlines to the major, historic and contemporary providers of education through schools of a religious character including the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church.

Faith schools or schools of a religious character have had an important, indeed critical historic role in the history not only of religious education in England but education itself. Historically such schools have bee entirely Christian in character. In a moral, plural and religious diverse context, there are more and more schools of a religious character emerging in the educational landscape.

The section also includes reference, to Hindu, Jewish and Muslim schools.
The religious education curriculum in these schools may differ significantly from religious education in maintained, community schools, though increasingly practitioners often engage in dialogue and discussion, especially through bodies like the Religious Education Council of England and Wales.


Find out:

  • What current debates surround schools of a religious character in the UK?
  • Where would you situate yourself within those debates?
  • What are the similarities and differences between RE in a state school and RE in a school of a religious character?
  • What distinctive features would you find in RE in a Muslim school, a Jewish School, a Hindu school, a Church of England school, and a Catholic school?

Questions to consider:

  • To what extent do you think it is possible (or desirable) to nurture a student in his or her own faith whilst at the same time educating him/her about the faiths of others?
  • How would you promote dialogue between students from different faith backgrounds?
  • To what extent is it possible to learn from (AT2) the religious beliefs and practices of another if that person’s faith is completely different to and at times even conflicts with one’s own?
Church of England schools Roman Catholic schools Hindu schools Jewish schools Muslim schools