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Evangelicals rate strong school ethos

15 March 2013

EVANGELICAL Christian parents say that league tables and inspectors' reports are less important than a strong Christian ethos when choosing a school for their children, a report published this week by the Evangelical Alliance (EA) says.

The survey of 1377 parents was conducted by the EA for several Evangelical welfare organisations. The investigation found that while more than 70 per cent of respondents supported compulsory, predominantly religious education, and looked for a school where Christian beliefs and values were important, only 20 per cent chose a church school or an independent Christian secondary school.

Opinions on Christian schools varied among the respondents. Some said that their children had to learn to deal with others from non-Christian families, while others looked for teachers who would actively encourage their children's faith. Only one in ten, however, believed that church schools were divisive.

Many Evangelical churches have close links with schools in their area, the report suggests. More than half regularly took assemblies in local schools, and one in five reported "good contacts" with their local university.

The general director of the EA, Steve Clifford, said that Evangelicals had a long history of involvement in education. "It is part of our passionate investment into the well-being of society as a whole as well as into the lives of the poor and least able."

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