Church Schools and Universities

The hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, was asked – in the House of Commons on 6th February 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Stuart Anderson Stuart Anderson Conservative, Wolverhampton South West

What recent assessment the Commissioners have made of the effectiveness of the contribution of Church schools and universities to the education system in England.

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous The Second Church Estates Commissioner

The Church of England educates 1 million children every day, runs a quarter of all primary schools and operates 4,644 schools in total, 91% of which are good or outstanding. There are also 15 universities in the Cathedrals Group in England, which educate 100,000 students and train 40% of all key stage 2 and 3 teachers.

Photo of Stuart Anderson Stuart Anderson Conservative, Wolverhampton South West

What help might the Church be able to give for the much-needed further education learning quarter in Wolverhampton?

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous The Second Church Estates Commissioner

I am very grateful to my hon. Friend for raising this issue. The Church strongly supports investment in further education and the Wolverhampton education quarter is an imaginative proposal to benefit the city. While we are at a very early stage of possible Church involvement, I know that the diocesan director of education and senior local chaplains will be very willing to meet him to discuss the proposal.

Photo of Thangam Debbonaire Thangam Debbonaire Opposition Whip (Commons)

Will the hon. Gentleman update us on what strategic national work the Church might be doing with the Department for Education to support local schools that are experiencing changes to school rolls due to population changes? Otherwise excellent schools, such as St George’s and St Michael’s in my constituency, are having to experience differences in their local population. What strategic work is going on nationally to support the local work that is so necessary?

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous The Second Church Estates Commissioner

Being relatively new in post, I am afraid that I am not immediately aware of that, but I am very happy to raise the hon. Lady’s concerns with Nigel Genders, our director of education at Church House, and I will get back to her.