I’ve just, for no very good reason, been looking on the Department of Education’s website at the section on state-maintained faith schools. I learned three interesting things.*
a) one third of all state schools are also faith schools. You probably knew that already, but I didn’t.
b) the number of state schools each religion/denomination has is roughly the same or more than the number of independent schools it has, except for Islam, which has almost 12 times as many independent schools as state schools.
c) to be a DofE spokesperson for faith schools, you don’t have to know anything at all about faiths. The site divides faith schools in two: “major Christian denominations” and “other”. Other consists of: Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Greek Orthodox, Hindu, Quaker, and United Reformed Church. Which may seem like an odd assortment, but fair enough. Then we’re told:
The major Christian denominations are:
- Christian (138)
- Church of England (4606)
- Roman Catholic (1985)
- Methodist (26)
It’s pretty alarming that, well anyone, but certainly someone with this job, should have thought, “Let’s see, 138 out of 7000 Christian schools are called Somewhere Christian School, so ‘Christian’ is obviously a denomination of Christianity about 5 times the size of Methodism”. And since it contains schools run by Pentecostal, Seventh Day Adventist and house churches, you could forgive the URC, Orthodox and Quakers for feeling miffed about their placing…
*Interestingness of this information may vary