Christian distinctiveness in Church of England schools

HM Jelfs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


‘The Way ahead’ report proposed that Church of England schools should be distinctively Christian and Anglican and recommended a number of practices that schools could adopt to exemplify their distinctiveness. However, the notion of distinctiveness is not well developed and has not been widely researched. An empirical investigation comprising a survey of 45 Church of England schools in one diocese, together with ethnographic case studies of three primary schools in the same diocese, was undertaken to explore how schools understand and demonstrate Christian distinctiveness. The findings suggest that distinctiveness is understood in terms of developing and maintaining links with the local church and a religious dimension in the life of the school; and by seeking to establish a way of life informed by Christian beliefs and characterised by love, care and respect, together with an emphasis on personal development and academic achievement. However, schools are less clear about how Christian distinctiveness relates to teaching, learning and the curriculum. These findings suggest the need for ongoing work to develop a theory and practice of education in Church of England schools. Keywords: Church of England schools; Christian distinctiveness; religious character; values;
Translated title of the contributionChristian distinctiveness in Church of England schools
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29 - 38
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Beliefs and Values
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010


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