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."