The formal politics of education in England and Wales until 1944 were very much influenced by the relationship between education provided by religious bodies and that provided by the state. The 1944 Education Act effectively concluded the debate by introducing the categories of Voluntary Aided Schools, in which some of the building costs are paid by the religious body but all running costs are paid by the LEA, and Voluntary Controlled, in which the religious body retains an input but the school is otherwise LEA in form. Most catholic schools are Voluntary Aided and provide a significant (depending on locality but about 17% in the North of England) part of the system. Most Voluntary Controlled Schools are Anglican. There are a few Jewish schools and considerable pressure for the introduction of Islamic schools. These schools are not private - they are part of the public system.

Copyright Sociological Research Online, 1996