Catholic schools serving more disadvantaged pupils
The results of a new census reveal that on average Catholic schools serve more pupils from deprived areas than schools nationally.
The data comes from the annual Digest of 2013 Census Data for Schools and Colleges in England, which is commissioned by the Catholic Education Service.
Catholic schools account for 10 per cent of the maintained schools sector and educate around 770,000 pupils in total. They also employ over 46,000 teachers and 37,000 education support staff.
The data collected in the Census shows that 18.4 per cent of pupils in Catholic primary schools come from the most socially deprived areas in England, which is significantly higher than the 13.8 per cent national average.
Catholic secondary schools also follow the same trend, with 17.3 per cent of students coming from deprived areas, compared with a national figure of 12.2 per cent.
The data also reveals that both primary and secondary Catholic schools teach more pupils from ethnic minority backgrounds, 34.5 per cent and 30.2 per cent respectively.
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Director of the Catholic Education Service, Paul Barber, has responded to this new data, saying: "The makeup of Catholic schools reflects the growing diversity of our communities.
"These figures demonstrate the vital role that Catholic schools play in working towards a common good for the whole society and carrying out the Church's mission to the poor," he continued.
The number of Catholic pupils attending Catholic schools has actually increased, although the average percentage has remained fairly static over the past few years at 70.2 per cent.
This leaves almost 30 per cent of pupils who identify with other faiths or none at all, yet there remains a very low number of students who choose to withdraw from collective worship in schools, at just 0.01 per cent.