The ethos and purpose of the original foundation of Church of England schools was to serve the local community. The National Society was founded by the Church of England in 1811 to provide community schools for poor children, and currently provides resources for 4,700 Church of England schools and 172 Church in Wales schools. All those schools have a strong Christian foundation and a commitment to the local Christian community.
I believe that the Church schools admissions policy involves a duty to balance the need to admit children from Christian families with the need to admit those from the wider community. The diocese of St Albans, which contains my hon. Friend’s constituency, places considerable emphasis on community involvement and ensuring that children from the wider community enter Church schools. The schools were set up in the first place to educate children of the parish.