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Durham e-Theses
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A policy analysis of the Anglican and Roman Catholic school systems in England.

Richardson, Jonathan K. (2005) A policy analysis of the Anglican and Roman Catholic school systems in England. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



This is a study of the contemporary Anglican and Catholic school systems in England. It compares the main characteristics of each and seeks to establish how far these are attributable to characteristics of the churches themselves and the extent to which there is convergence between the two school systems as they and their churches respond to contemporary challenges. This is a complex subject, analysis of which is aided by a model developed from the work of Ball (1994) in the field of education policy studies. Using this model, the broader context in which church schools operate is analysed first, including especially the historical development of church schools, the educational requirements of modern government, the characteristics of the two churches in England as they have adapted to the social changes of the 20th century, together with the relevant aspects of those changes, particularly the secularisation of society. The relationship between this broad 'context of influence' and the contemporary church school systems is emphasised throughout this study. Against this background the Anglican and Catholic school systems are analysed and compared at two levels - the strategic level at which Official’ policy is produced and the school level at which it is implemented, with the relationship between the two levels examined in detail. The main features of the two systems are identified and analysed, together with each of the main areas of policy relating to church schools, using a classification system to assist the comparison between them. For example, the issue of pupil admissions is analysed in terms of the stated policies of each church at national and diocesan levels and examined in terms of application at school level in each system. Whilst this is a study of church schools nationally, it is illustrated where appropriate by a case study of Anglican and Catholic schools in the city of Liverpool. This study has demonstrated clearly that, despite many obvious similarities between the Anglican and Catholic school systems, they do indeed reflect a number of distinctive characteristics of each church. The study also suggests that these characteristics have made it easier for the Anglican system to adapt to the demands of the modern state and the secularisation of society than it has been for the Catholic system, not least because most Anglican schools have traditionally served children from any or no religious background. These differences, it is argued, help to explain the contrasting current approaches of the two churches to the possibilities for expanding

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Education
Thesis Date:2005
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Sep 2011 09:56

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