The public face of God: Chaplaincy in Anglican secondary schools and academies


The varied and vital role of chaplains in Church of England state secondary schools and academies is outlined in "The Public Face of God", showing that chaplaincy is no longer the preserve of the independent sector.

The research showed that of the 72 schools which responded 58 have chaplains or a chaplaincy team with the majority ordained but with a growing number of lay chaplains. Almost all are directly funded from the school's own budget. The Church of England has 220 secondary schools and 80 sponsored academies.

The Revd Garry Neave, the Church of England's National Further Education and Post-16 Adviser and co-author of the report said: "This research clearly shows that schools greatly value the contribution which chaplains can make to pastoral care of students and staff - and to the whole school community - to encouraging the spiritual development of students and to serving people of all faiths and beliefs."

Rev Jan Ainsworth, the Church of England's chief education officer, writing in the foreword said: "This study, which came into being at the request of the Archbishop of Canterbury, concentrates on one aspect of school chaplaincy - that exercised in Church of England maintained secondary schools and academies - since this is the fastest growing type of provision and one which is developing in ways which are often different to that in the historic independent sector."

Alice Hudson, Executive Headteacher of Twyford CE Academies Trust said: "A child's spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is a vital part of their education. This is true in all schools (and is acknowledged by Ofsted) and is supported by pastoral staff as well as curriculum experts. In a church school a Chaplain is one of those experts. Different schools make different use of their Chaplains within pastoral care, curriculum delivery, community service and worship. They are among the many adults who add richness to the child's experience of school. At the Twyford Trust we feel our investment in this role has paid considerable dividends."

Revd Dr John Seymour Trust Chaplain at Twyford CE Academies Trust (London Diocese) said: "Our chaplaincy is woven into the fabric of the school along with the spiritual and pastoral support we offer to all pupils and staff of all faiths and none. Good examples are our links with the local project for senior Citizens - Regeneration RISE Ealing, who were visitors to the school for both a production of Joseph and the Ealing Citizen's Accountability Assembly, through which the two local councillors were asked to make commitments for their next term in office. The commitments formulated were asked on the basis of listening in one to one conversations with the local community, with which students had been involved through the school chaplaincy."


"The Public Face of God" is authored by Revd Michael Camp and Revd Garry Neave, the Church of England's National Further Education and Post-16 Adviser.

Approximately 1 million children attend Church of England schools, with 4,443 (25%) of all primary and middle schools CofE and 221 (6%) of all secondary school CofE.

With more than 80 sponsored and 277 converter academies, the Church of England is the biggest provider in England.

For more facts and figures about Church of England schools,