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Church of England acknowledges Christian schools must be part of an academy trust by 2030

by Alex Collett

The Church of England has acknowledged that Church schools in rural areas will need to belong to academy trusts of at least 35 schools by 2030.

This comes after the publication of the Government's Education White Paper this week.

The Paper requests that all schools join multi-academy trusts (MATs) by the end of this decade.

Within the government's White Paper entitled 'The Case for a fully trust-led system' it states what impact strong multi academy trusts have:

"The last 10 years of reform means we now know more than we did about how structures and systems can help drive better outcomes - we've sought views widely, seeking feedback, input, and evidence across the whole system including schools, trusts and local authorities, and looking at how we can harness and grow effective practice in a single school system in which schools collaborate in the interests of all children."

The biggest provider of academies within England is The Church of England (CofE), with 254 CofE. 

However only one third of church schools, 1,535 are currently academies.

This means that more than roughly 3,000 church schools will need to convert or be on route to convert by 2030. 

The Church of England's chief education officer, Rev Nigel Genders, is also in favour of the move to convert all schools to academies.

Discussing the White Paper in a statement, he said: "Our work on rural and small schools has highlighted the need to work together and for schools to embrace change through formation of structural collaborations and partnerships, so I am delighted to see this emphasis in the White Paper."

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