ABSTRACT

The majority of independent schools in England claim a religious affiliation either by foundation or tradition. Informal discussions with pupils revealed more about their attitudes to religion in general than to specific aspects of institutional practice. Like the heads, many pupils talked of the help of religion in times of difficulty or crisis. Religious education lessons were valued for the opportunity they provided for working out images of God and for examining moral, social and ethical issues. The South East region of the Girls’ Schools Association covers part of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, Surrey, East and West Sussex and part of Kent. The Schools are located in urban and rural settings, outer London, and parts of the Home Counties commuter belt. Heads were asked to describe the religious affiliation of their school according to one of six categories – Church of England, Roman Catholic, Free Church, Inter-denominational, Non-denominational and Other.