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A voluntary aided school (VA school) is a state-funded school in
England and Wales England and Wales () is a legal jurisdiction covering England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom, parts of the United Kingdom. England and Wales forms the constitutional successor to the former Kingdom of England and follows ...

England and Wales
in which a
foundation Foundation may refer to: * Foundation (nonprofit), a type of charitable organization ** Foundation (United States law), a type of charitable organization in the U.S. ** Private foundation, a charitable organization that, while serving a good cause ...
or trust (usually a religious organisation), contributes to building costs and has a substantial influence in the running of the school. In most cases the foundation or trust owns the buildings. Such schools have more autonomy than
voluntary controlled school A voluntary controlled school (VC school) is a state-funded school in in which a or (usually a Christian denomination) has some formal influence in the running of the school. Such schools have less autonomy than s, in which the foundation pays ...
s, which are entirely funded by the state. In some circumstances local authorities can help the governing body in buying a site, or can provide a site or building free of charge.


Characteristics

The running costs of voluntary aided schools, like those of other state-maintained schools, are fully paid by central government via the
local authority Local government is a generic term for the lowest tiers of public administration Public administration is the implementation of government policy Public policy is a course of action created and/or enacted, typically by a government ...
. They differ from other maintained schools in that only 90% of their
capital costs Capital costs are fixed, one-time expenses incurred on the purchase of real property, land, buildings, construction, and equipment used in the production of good (economics and accounting), goods or in the rendering of Service (economics), services. ...
are met by the state, with the school's foundation contributing the remaining 10%. Many VA faith schools belong to diocesan maintenance schemes or other types of funding programme to help them to manage those costs. VA schools are not allowed to charge fees to students, although parents are usually encouraged to pay a voluntary contribution towards the schools' maintenance funds. The foundation usually owns the school's land and buildings, although there are instances where VA schools use local authority land and buildings. The foundation appoints a majority of the
school governor In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, school governors are the overseers of a school. In state school State schools (in England, Wales, and New Zealand) or public schools (Scottish English and North American English) are generally primary or ...
s, who run the school, employ the staff and decide the school's admission arrangements, subject to the national Schools Admissions Code. Specific exemptions from Section 85 of the
Equality Act 2010 The Equality Act 2010 is an Act of Parliament, Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom passed during the Brown ministry with the primary purpose of consolidating, updating and supplementing the numerous prior Acts and Regulations, that formed the ...
enables VA faith schools to use faith criteria in prioritising pupils for admission to the schools. Pupils at voluntary aided schools follow the
National CurriculumA national curriculum is a common programme of study in school A school is an educational institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students (or "pupils") under the direction of teachers. Mo ...
. Like all faith schools, VA faith schools may teach
religious education In secular Secularity, also the secular or secularness (from Latin ''saeculum'', "worldly" or "of a generation") is the state of being unrelated or neutral in regards to religion and irreligion. Anything that does not have an explicit reference ...
according to their own faith.


History

Prior to the 19th century, there were a variety of schools in England and Wales, from
charity school 300px, ''The Blue Coat School'' (in this case Christ's Hospital, London) as drawn by Augustus Pugin and Thomas Rowlandson">Augustus_Pugin.html" ;"title="Christ's Hospital, London) as drawn by Augustus Pugin">Christ's Hospital, London) as drawn by ...
s providing basic education for the poor to
endowed A financial endowment is a legal structure for managing, and in many cases indefinitely perpetuating, a pool of financial Finance is a term for the management, creation, and study of money and investments. Pamela Drake and Frank Fabozzi (2009) ...
schools (often
grammar school A grammar school is one of several different types of school A school is an educational institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students under the direction of teachers. Most coun ...
s) providing secondary or all-age education. Early in that century, the
British and Foreign School SocietyImage:hitchinschools1.jpg, British Schools Museum, Hitchin The British and Foreign School Society (BFSS) offers charitable aid to educational projects in the UK and around the world by funding schools, other charities and educational bodies. It was s ...
and the
National Society for Promoting Religious EducationThe National Society (Church of England and Church in Wales) for the Promotion of Education, often just referred to as the National Society, and since 2016 also as The Church of England Education Office (CEEO) is significant in the history of educati ...
sought to provide
elementary In computational complexity theory, the complexity class ELEMENTARY of elementary recursive functions is the union of the classes : \begin \mathsf & = \bigcup_ k\mathsf \\ & = \mathsf\left(2^n\right)\cup\mathsf\left(2^\right)\ ...

elementary
schooling for poor children, setting up non-denominational British Schools and
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is a Christian church Christian Church is a Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Critic ...
National schools respectively. From 1833, the State began to provide grants to support these elementary schools and the less wealthy endowed schools. They were joined by the
Catholic Poor School Committee The Catholic Education Service (CES) is an agency of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales (CBCEW), whose object is the advancement of the Catholic religion, primarily through education. History The CES has its roots in the Ca ...
, which established
Roman Catholic Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Laz ...

Roman Catholic
elementary schools and received its first state grant in 1847. Secondary education also expanded at the same time, including a series of Roman Catholic secondary schools established by religious orders. The State began to provide elementary education in 1870 and secondary education in 1902, but also continued to increase funding to the schools run by other organisations (usually the churches), now known as voluntary schools. In return these schools were increasingly influenced by the state, and were subject to jointly administered inspections. In 1926, secondary voluntary schools were required to choose between being "grant-aided" by the local authority, or receiving a "direct grant" from central government. Under the
Education Act 1944 The Education Act 1944 (7 and 8 Geo 6 c. 31) made major changes in the provision and governance of secondary schools in England and Wales. It is also known as the "Butler Act" after the President of the Board of Education, R. A. Butler. Historians ...
, most of the direct grant schools became
direct grant grammar school A direct grant grammar school was a type of Selective school, selective secondary school in the United Kingdom that existed between 1945 and 1976. One quarter of the places in these schools were directly funded by central government, while the rema ...
s. The Act also imposed higher standards on school facilities, and offered the remaining voluntary schools a choice in funding the costs this would incur: *
Voluntary controlled school A voluntary controlled school (VC school) is a state-funded school in in which a or (usually a Christian denomination) has some formal influence in the running of the school. Such schools have less autonomy than s, in which the foundation pays ...
s would have all their costs met by the State, and would be controlled by the
local education authority Local education authorities (LEAs) are the local councils in England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The I ...
. * Voluntary aided schools would have all of their running costs met by the State, but their capital costs would only be partly state funded, with the foundation retaining greater influence over school admission policies, staffing and curriculum. The Catholic Church chose to retain control of all of its schools, while more than half of Church of England schools became voluntary controlled. The state contribution to capital works for voluntary aided schools was originally 50%. It was increased to 75% by the
Education Act 1959 Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, value (ethics), values, morals, beliefs, and habits. Educational methods include teaching, training, storytelling, discussion and directed resear ...
, and is now 90%. By the 1970s, most local authorities were in the final stages of reorganising secondary education along
comprehensive Comprehensive may refer to: *Comprehensive layout, the page layout of a proposed design as initially presented by the designer to a client. *Comprehensive school, a state school that does not select its intake on the basis of academic achievement or ...
lines. The Roman Catholic hierarchy supported this change. Some non-Catholic voluntary aided
grammar school A grammar school is one of several different types of school A school is an educational institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students under the direction of teachers. Most coun ...
s opposed it. Local authorities could not compel voluntary aided schools to change any aspect of their admissions, but they could submit a proposal to the Minister to cease to maintain a school. This was done in cases where the local authority and school could not agree. Some of these schools became
independent school An independent school is independent in its finances and governance. Also known as private schools, non-governmental, privately funded, or non-state schools, they are not administered by local, state or national governments. In British Engli ...
s: Direct grant status was abolished at the same time and over forty such schools, almost all Roman Catholic, converted to voluntary aided status. Many voluntary aided schools converted to grant-maintained status in the late 1980s, generally reverting to voluntary aided status when grant-maintained status was abolished in 1998. A few formerly independent faith schools that had become grant-maintained in the early 1990s also converted to voluntary aided status at that time. By 2008, within the maintained sector in England, approximately 22% of primary schools and 17% of secondary schools were voluntary aided, including all of the Roman Catholic schools and the schools of non-Christian faiths. Almost all voluntary aided primary schools and 93% of voluntary aided secondary schools were linked to a religious body, usually either the Church of England or the Catholic Church, with a minority of other faiths. In November 2012, the interpretation of the
Education Act 2011 The Education Act 2011 (c. 21) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * D ...
, which appeared to prioritise the creation of
academies An academy (Attic Greek Attic Greek is the Greek language, Greek dialect of the regions of ancient Greece, ancient region of Attica, including the ''polis'' of classical Athens, Athens. Often called classical Greek, it was the prestige (sociolin ...
over maintained schools, was tested by a
judicial review Judicial review is a process under which executive Executive may refer to: Role, title, or function * Executive (government), branch of government that has authority and responsibility for the administration of state bureaucracy * Executive, ...
, which upheld the decision of the
London Borough of Richmond upon Thames The London Borough of Richmond upon Thames () in southwest London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom. The city stands on the River Thames in the ...
to establish voluntary aided schools, St. Richard Reynolds Catholic College, without first seeking proposals for an academy.


See also

*
Voluntary controlled school A voluntary controlled school (VC school) is a state-funded school in in which a or (usually a Christian denomination) has some formal influence in the running of the school. Such schools have less autonomy than s, in which the foundation pays ...
*
State-funded schools (England) English state-funded schools, commonly known as state schools, provide Education in England, education to pupils between the ages of 3 and 18 without charge. Approximately 93% of English schoolchildren attend 20,000 or so such schools. Since 2008 ...
*
Education in Wales Education in Wales differs in certain respects from education elsewhere in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and ...
* *
Charter school A charter school is a school that receives government funding but operates independently of the established state school School district, system in which it is located. It is independent in the sense that it operates according to the basic Cha ...
*
Education Act 1902 The Education Act 1902 ('' 2 Edw. VII''), also known as the Balfour Act, was a highly controversial Act of Parliament that set the pattern of elementary education in England and Wales for four decades. It was brought to Parliament by a Conservati ...


References


Further reading

* * {{authority control State schools in the United Kingdom
Voluntary aidedA voluntary aided school (VA school) is a state-funded school in England and Wales England and Wales () is a legal jurisdiction covering England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom, parts of the United Kingdom. England and Wal ...
Education in England Education in Wales Education finance in the United Kingdom Public education in the United Kingdom Schools in England Schools in Wales