Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

Faith schools

Some independent schools with a faith commitment have recently begun to consider voluntary aided status. Before making the leap, schools should be aware that, coming into the maintained sector, they will have to accept its rules.

For example, the local government ombudsman found maladministration against a school which had measured adherence to the tenets of the faith by donations to the local temple.

In a separate court case, a school which agreed to become voluntary aided was compelled to continue the process, and the trustees of the school were forbidden to close it by surrendering the lease, when they discovered, rather late in the day, that they were not allowed to charge fees and that there was a statutory right for children to be withdrawn from religious education.

The school had ignored the ban on fees and the local authority, as the maintaining authority, was ordered to repay them.

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