National Society

The National Society promotes and resources nearly 4,700 schools in England and 200 schools in Wales.

The National Society for Promoting Religious Education was established in 1811 to provide schools for poor children. The aim was to found a church school in every parish and by 1851 (still 20 years before the state took any responsibility for education) there were 12,000 schools across England and Wales.

Today the National Society works closely with the wider Education Office of the Church of England, and is responsible for:

  • Negotiating with Government and other national agencies to maintain and develop the contribution of church schools to public education in England and Wales
  • Supporting and advising diocesan education teams on legal and technical, curriculum and ethos issues
  • Contribute a Christian perspective to national educational debate

The NS and the Board of Education collaborate with the Catholic Education Service and the Methodist Church, along with other Christian and faith education representatives to ensure that the role and needs of faith communities are represented in national debate.

PDF: Distinctive and Inclusive: The National Society and Church of England Schools, 1811-2011


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