chapter  1
The Catholic school: the sacred and the secular
Pages 21

The future of the Catholic voluntary-aided school in England and Wales looks bright and is, from one perception, an occasion for celebration. Catholic schools, both primary and secondary, have been well placed in the public league tables of academic and test results which are, in contemporary society, an important source of the making or breaking of a school’s reputation and public image.1 In addition to support from local Catholic communities, the schools are much sought after by parents of other Christian faith communities and by those of other faiths. In many areas therefore Catholic schools are filled to capacity and are in fact over-subscribed by parents attracted by the Catholic school’s reputation for academic success, ‘good’ discipline and for taking spiritual and moral education seriously. Speaking of ‘The Church’s Mission in Education’, Cardinal Hume argued that:

Today, Catholic schools are increasingly popular, not only because of the good academic results they often achieve, but also because many parents sense that a Catholic school might help their children to develop the self-discipline, moral resilience and spiritual maturity so necessary in surviving exposure as young adults to the winds of secularism and materialism in our society.