Types of schools












The National Society for Promoting Religious Education was established in 1811 to provide schools for poor children. The aim was to found a church school in every parish. By 1851 (still 20 years before the state took any responsibility for education) there were 12,000 schools across England and Wales.

The Church of England Education and the National Society

In the Church of England Diocese of Leeds there are 248 church schools and academies serving more than 60,000 children. 

There is great diversity across the diocese with many different types, phases and sizes of school.

School and Academy types

Voluntary Aided (VA) and Foundation schools

  • The Governing Body is; the admissions authority; the employer and: responsible for the buildings and capital projects.
  • Finance for buildings and capital works is funded directly from the department for Education at 90%.  The diocese supports bids for projects on behalf of schools. 
  • The Governing Body has a majority of foundation governers who represent the Church.

Voluntary Controlled (VC) schools

  • The local authority is; the admissions authority; the employer and: responsible for the buildings and capital projects.
  • Funding for buildings and capital works is distributed by the local authority.  Each local autority decides its own funding formula.
  • The Governing Body has a minority of foundation governers who represent the Church that being up to 25% of the number of governors.


  • The Trust is; the admissions authority; the employer and: responsible for the buildings and capital projects.
  • The Trust applies to the EFA for capital grants for building projects.
  • The Chuch is represented at Member and Trustee (or Director) level. Members will be church majority in VA academiesand chruch minority in VC academies.

School and academy phases

Parents are legally required to provide education for their children from the 1st September, 1st AJanuary or 1st April following the child's fifth birthday. 

Schools and academeis provide for children of different age groups according to the local authority or academy admissions policies.   

New legislation requires that young people stay in a designated learning environment until the age of 17 from 2013 and the age of 18 from 2015 onwards.

Phases and age-groups

  • Nursery: age 2 - 4 years
  • Infant: age 4 - 7 years
  • First: age 4 -8, 4-9 or 4-10 de[pending on the local authority
  • Junior: age 7 - 11 years
  • Primary: age 4 - 11 years
  • Middle: age 8 -13 with variations depending on the local authority (see First above)
  • Secondary: age 11-16 years or 11-18 years
  • Sixth form: age 16 - 18 years
  • All through: primary and secondary phases, ages 4 - 16 or 18 years

School and academy size

Schools and academies vary in the number of children that attend them.  This will often depend on the community the school or academy was origianllly intended to serve.

Each school and academy has a Published Admission Number (PAN) decided by the local authority or Trust Board.  This is the maximum number of children the school or academy can admit in the first intake year group (the youngest group startinmg the school or academy).

The school or academy PAN can be found in ots Admissions Policy which must be published on its website.



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