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State, independent, religious – what will you choose?

On 1st March Year 6 students found out which secondary school they will be going to. In the news last week Nick and Miriam Clegg announced that their son will go a state catholic school. This has caused some controversy, as Nick Clegg has been vocal about the fact he is an atheist. However, his wife is Catholic, their children are being raised in that faith and their son has attended a state catholic primary school.

If you are fast approaching the time when you have to make the choice about secondary school it can be very confusing. For some it’s a simple choice but often good local state schools can be oversubscribed or where you live in relation to the school you want can cause problems. We’ve written before about what to think about when choosing a secondary school for your child but in this blog we’ll explore the main differences between state, independent and religious secondary education.


In the UK to provide free education to all children at primary and secondary level the government funds state schools. There are some state boarding schools that charge fees. There is a vast array of state secondary schools but all follow the National Curriculum. There are state Faith Schools, they have formal links with religious organisations and this religion would form part of your child’s education. These schools often have religion in their admissions criteria. Most grammar schools are state schools with a few fee paying.  There are some schools that receive other kinds of funding; these are known as foundation schools or voluntary controlled schools.


Independent schools, sometimes known as private or public schools, are independent from the Government for the purposes of funding and governance. That means you have to pay fees to go there. Some independent schools have a religious affiliation.


As mentioned above both independent and state schools can have a connection to a particular religious organisation and require you to follow that faith to attend the school. Most faith schools also allow non-religious people to apply to attend the school.

There are a number of other variations in secondary education and you can read more about them here.

If you need help with choosing a secondary school or private tutoring at secondary level call 121 Home Tutors in Manchester & Cheshire.


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