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An investigation of the new independent Christian schools: what kind of citizens are they producing?

By Sylvia G. Baker


This thesis investigates a network of new independent Christian schools in England, with special reference to their teenage pupils. The place of faith-based schools in British society currently constitutes a contentious issue; the nature of this controversy is explored before a description and evaluation of the schools and their educational aims is given. A wide-ranging survey is then described. This survey investigated the views, values and beliefs of 695 teenage pupils who were receiving their education in the schools in 2006. Its purpose was to discover to what extent the aims of the schools were being realised amongst their older pupils. At the same time, the survey was designed to address the criticisms aimed at faith-based schools, particularly the charge that such schools might be inadequately preparing young people for life as citizens of modern Britain. The results reveal an unusual cohort of young people. The majority of the pupils claim to hold religious beliefs and values which differ from the current norms of British society but which would not necessarily jeopardise acceptable British citizenship. The data indicate that the schools are achieving their aims of enabling pupils to develop and retain the belief system and moral position taken by their parent bodies and founding churches. The results show that male pupils hold the same beliefs as female pupils and that the older pupils are as likely to be religious as are the younger. These findings differ from those found by similar surveys conducted in other British contexts. Finally, the data reveal the existence of a small subset of pupils who claim not to hold religious beliefs and whose views and values differ substantially from those of the majority of their fellow pupils. The data also suggest that the anomalous position of these pupils is not necessarily detrimental to their well-being

Topics: BV1460, LB1603
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  2. (2007). Experiencing education in the new Christian schools in the United Kingdom: listening to the male graduates, doi
  3. (2009). The theological case for Christian schools in England and Wales: a qualitative perspective listening to female alumnae, in: doi
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