Church of England

St. Michael’s is one of the 4,700 church of England schools across the country serving their local communities. The Church of England has always been concerned with education in many forms and the history of Church schools began when the National Society for the Promotion of Education was founded in 1811.

The Church of England became involved in week day schooling with the building of 'National Schools' that educated children during the week as well as on Sundays. It was in 1811 that The National Society for Promoting Religious Education was established. The National Society was founded when there was no state system of education in place, and the Society's hugely ambitious vision was to open a church school in every parish. A major fundraising campaign was launched, encouraging parishes and clergy to apply for grants to build schools, and although the aim of every parish was not reached, the Society's achievement was extraordinary. By 1813, in just two years, they had built 30 schools and it was largely due to this initiative that Parliament established a universal right to education for all children. Then by 1861 there were 12,000 schools 'in union' with the National Society across England and Wales, all funded by donations. Schools were to offer education based on the teachings of the Church of England, with the belief that moral and spiritual education was as important to children as learning skills or a trade.