Church seeks to evade academy accreditation process

March 19, 2010

The Church of England Board of Education is resisting plans to ensure that all sponsors of new schools are accredited for their ability to maintain educational standards, with legal advisors to the National Society arguing that setting limits on “the power of the Church of England to provide schools…must be a very doubtful legal undertaking”.

Astonishingly, the Church seems to believe that its dioceses should not be subject to the same checks as other organisations that wish to run schools, despite the fact that new Church schools will be taxpayer funded.

Explaining the Church position, Director of Education for Lichfield Diocese and Colin Hopkins said:

“On one level, the accreditation system relegates us to the status of another potential provider with no special rights: we simply take our place in the educational marketplace alongside other potential bidders. It could be argued that accreditation is merely a quality-assurance process designed to weed out unsuitable schools promoters.

However, it is unclear how the C of E and Roman Catholic Church could be considered unsuitable since we have such a substantial stake in the system, and our role in establishing schools predates that of the state.”

In response, Accord Coalition Chair Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain said:

“If the Church of England is confident about the performance of its local boards of education then they have nothing to fear from submitting to the same process as would be required of any other sponsor. Instead, they appear to be making legal arguments for special treatment. The question of how long the Church has been around is not relevant —these schools will paid for by the taxpayer and sponsors should not use religious links to evade undergoing proper checks.”

admin is technically responsible for this website.

Email this author | All posts by admin

Accord depends on your support

Please give.

Sign up

find us on Facebook

News history