Parochial school

A parochial school is a private primary or secondary school affiliated with a religious organization, and whose curriculum includes general religious education in addition to secular subjects, such as science, mathematics and language arts. The word "parochial" comes from the same root as "parish", and parochial schools were originally the educational wing of the local parish church. Christian parochial schools are often called "church schools" or "Christian schools". In Ontario, parochial schools are called "separate schools".

In addition to schools run by Christian organizations, there are also religious schools affiliated with Jewish (Hebrew), Muslim and other groups. These, however, are not usually called "parochial" because of the term's historical association with Christian parishes.

United Kingdom

In British education, parish schools from the established church of the relevant constituent country formed the basis of the state-funded education system, and many schools retain a church connection while essentially providing secular education in accordance with standards set by the government of the country concerned. These are often primary schools, and may be designated as name C.E.[1] School or name C.E. (Aided) School, depending on whether they are wholly or partly funded by the church (the latter is more common).

In 2002, Frank Dobson proposed an amendment to the Education Bill (for England & Wales) which would limit the selection rights of faith schools by requiring them to offer at least a quarter of places to children of another or no religion, in order to increase inclusivity and lessening social division.[2] The proposal was defeated in Parliament.

In 2005, David Bell, the head of the Office for Standards in Education said "Faith should not be blind. I worry that many young people are being educated in faith-based schools, with little appreciation of their wider responsibilities and obligations to British society. This growth in faith schools needs to be carefully but sensitively monitored by government to ensure that pupils receive an understanding of not only their own faith but of other faiths and the wider tenets of British society".[3] He criticised Islamic schools in particular, calling them a "threat to national identity".[3]

In October 2006, Bishop Kenneth Stevenson, speaking on behalf of the Church of England, said "I want to make a specific commitment that all new Church of England schools should have at least 25% of places available to children with no requirement that they be from practising Christian families."[4] This commitment applies only to new schools, not existing ones.

In September 2007, attempts to create the first secular school in Britain were blocked. Paul Kelley, head of Monkseaton High School in Tyneside, proposed plans to eliminate the daily act of Christian worship, and "a fundamental change in the relationship with the school and the established religion of the country".[5]

In November 2007, the Krishna-Avanti Hindu school in north-west London became the first school in the United Kingdom to make vegetarianism a condition of entry.[6] Additionally, parents of pupils are expected to abstain from alcohol to prove they are followers of the faith.

In November 2007, the Jewish Free School in north London was found guilty of discrimination for giving preference to children who were born to Jewish mothers.[7]

In January 2008 the House of Commons' Children, Schools and Families select committee raised concerns about the government's plans for expanding faith schooling.[8] The general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, Mary Bousted, said "Unless there are crucial changes in the way many faith schools run we fear divisions in society will be exacerbated. In our increasingly multi-faith and secular society it is hard to see why our taxes should be used to fund schools which discriminate against the majority of children and potential staff because they are not of the same faith".[8]


English education includes many schools linked to the Church of England which sets the ethos of the school and can influence selection of pupils where there is competition for places. These form a large proportion of the 6,955 Christian faith schools in England. The Roman Catholic church also maintains schools. In addition, there are 36 Jewish, seven Muslim and two Sikh faith schools. Faith schools follow the same national curriculum as state schools. Religious education in Church of England schools is monitored by the local diocese, but does not typically take up much more of the timetable than in secular schools. Although not state schools, there are around 700 unregulated madrassas in Britain, attended by approximately 100,000 Muslim children. Doctor Ghayasuddin Siddiqui, the leader of the Muslim Parliament of Great Britain, has called for them to be subject to government inspection following publication of a 2006 report which highlighted widespread physical and sexual abuse.[9] Voluntary aided schools such as Church of England and Catholic schools are permitted to discriminate against teachers on the grounds of their religious opinions, attendance at worship and willingness to provide religious education.[10]


Scotland has its own educational system, distinct from that of England and Wales, reflecting the history of education in Scotland. Although schools existed in Scotland prior to the Reformation, widespread public education was pioneered by the Church of Scotland developing its aim of universal parish schools from 1560 onwards, and given state support by the Education Act 1633. It handed over its parish schools to the state in 1872. Although these schools are now known as "non-denominational" schools, and are open to all, their traditional links with the Presbyterian and Episcopalian churches and clergy remain in most cases.

Charitably funded Roman Catholic schools were brought into the state system by the Education (Scotland) Act 1918. Whilst maintaining a strong Catholic ethos, Scottish Catholic schools have long welcomed pupils from other faith backgrounds, though they tend to give precedence to non-Catholics who come from families of faith. In Scottish Catholic schools employment of non-Catholics or lapsed Catholics can be restricted by the Church. In some dioceses, one of the requirements for applicants baptised as Catholic is to possess a certificate which has been signed by their parish priest. Each diocese varies on the method of approval and the rigour with which it is applied.[11] Non-Catholic applicants are not required to provide any religious documentation. Certain positions, such as headteachers, religious education teachers and guidance teachers are invariably held by practising Roman Catholics.[11]

Unlike in England and Wales, Scottish schools do not normally have the practice of school-wide daily assembly/worship; this applies even to denominational schools.

United States and Canada

Resurrection Lutheran School Rochester MN WELS
Resurrection Lutheran School is a parochial school of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) in Rochester, MN. The WELS school system is the fourth largest private school system in the United States.

Historically, most American parochial schools have been Catholic schools (often elementary schools attached to a local parish), as well as schools run by Seventh-day Adventists, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Calvinists and Orthodox Jews. In recent years thousands of Fundamentalist religious schools have been founded, especially in the South, though they are not usually called "parochial". In addition to this Conservative Mennonites, Amish, and Old Order Mennonites operate their own schools (the Old Order referring to theirs as "parochial"). Many fundamentalist Christian schools use curriculum from A Beka Book and Bob Jones University Press.[12]

Catholic private and college preparatory schools also exist and are not necessarily connected with a parish. Often times these schools, such as those in the Philadelphia area, prefer to be referred to as "private Catholic schools," to distinguish themselves from the Archdiocesan parochial school system. In some Canadian provinces Catholic schools are publicly funded and in Ontario completely to the level of grade 12.

Generally within the Catholic parochial school system, parochial schools are open to all children in the parish. Thus parochial school systems function as quasi-public educational networks, in parallel to the state-school systems, the key difference being that parochial systems are largely supported by donations to the parish while state schools are funded by taxes. Often times, the Catholic diocese or archdiocese, such as those in Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago will take a greater role in administration of the parochial schools within their jurisdiction. Out-of-pocket costs to the student attending a parochial school are usually greater than an equivalent public school. Although it costs parents more for their children to attend, teachers are generally paid less than those at an equivalent public school.[13] For example, in 1998, they were paid about 45% less than public school teachers.[14]

The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) operates an extensive parochial school system. The WELS school system is the fourth largest private school system in the United States.[15]


The development of the American Catholic parochial school system can be divided into three phases. During the first (1750–1870), parochial schools appeared as ad hoc efforts by parishes, and most Catholic children attended public schools. During the second period (1870–1910), the Catholic hierarchy made a basic commitment to a separate Catholic school system. These parochial schools, like the big-city parishes around them, tended to be ethnically homogeneous; a German child would not be sent to an Irish school, nor vice versa, nor a Lithuanian pupil to either. Instruction in the language of the old country was common. In the third period (1910–1945), Catholic education was modernized and modeled after the public school systems, and ethnicity was deemphasized in many areas. In cities with large Catholic populations (such as Chicago and Boston) there was a flow of teachers, administrators, and students from one system to the other.[16]

In addition to the Catholics, the German Lutherans and Calvinist Dutch also began parochial schools, as did Orthodox Jews.

Starting from about 1876, thirty nine states (out of 50) passed a constitutional amendment to their state constitutions, called "Blaine Amendments," forbidding tax money be used to fund parochial schools. In 2002, the United States Supreme Court upheld an Ohio law allowing aid under specific circumstances.[17]

In the 1920s, Oregon outlawed all non-public schools in an attempt to stamp out parochial schools, but in 1925 the Supreme overturned the law in Pierce v. Society of Sisters.[18] There is a controversy over the legality of parish schools. In December 2018, Ed Mechmann, the director of public policy at the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York noted that the new regulations from the New York State Education Department would "give local school boards virtually unlimited power over private religious schools. There is no protection against government officials who are hostile to religious schools or who just want to eliminate the competition."[19]

Russian Empire

Parochial schools (Russian: Приходские училища, Prikhodskie uchilischa) was a system of elementary education in the Russian Empire which were part of the Ministry of National Enlightenment (Education).[20] Parochial schools were introduced in 1804 following an educational reform of primary schools.[21] Before that, in Russia existed arithmetic schools which were part of elementary education.

Along with regular parochial schools there also existed a well developed system of church-parochial schools of the Russian Orthodox Church which was also introduced in 1804.[22]

Both schools parochial and church-parochial were funded by government.[22]


Since the Spanish Era, schools have been traditionally run by the Catholic Church and its different religious institutes.

Currently, parochial schools are run by local, territorial parishes while Catholic schools are administered by dioceses or religious institutes.

Metro Manila

In the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila and its suffragan dioceses, parochial schools are supervised by the Manila Archdiocesan Parochial Schools Association and its suffragan affiliates like the Diocese of Cubao Educational System and the Parochial Schools Association of Novaliches. These organisations are overseen by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines through the Episcopal Commission on Catechism and Christian Education.


In India, Catholic educational institutions are second in numbers behind government run schools. There are 14,539. While the schools are centrally tracked by the Catholic Bishops Council of India, they are controlled by the diocese in which they are located. There are 13,004 primary and secondary Catholic schools, 243 special schools, 448 Catholic colleges, and 534 technical institutions.

See also


  1. ^ Church of England
  2. ^ "Faith school rebels defeated". BBC News. 2002-02-07.
  3. ^ a b Tony Halpin (2005-01-18). "Islamic schools are threat to national identity". The Times.
  4. ^ Alexandra Smith (2006-10-03). "Church promises school places to non-Christians". The Guardian.
  5. ^ Anushka Asthana (2007-09-23). "Crisis of faith in first secular school". The Guardian.
  6. ^ Polly Curtis (2007-11-29). "Hindu school is first to make vegetarianism a condition of entry". The Guardian.
  7. ^ Polly Curtis (2007-11-28). "Jewish school told to change admission rules". The Guardian.
  8. ^ a b Anthea Lipsett and agencies (2008-01-02). "MPs to voice concerns over faith schools". The Guardian.
  9. ^ Alexandra Smith (2006-03-22). "Call for national register of mosque schools". The Guardian.
  10. ^ "Faith Schools: FAQs" (PDF). House of Commons Library. 8 September 2014. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
  11. ^ a b Gordon Cairns (2007-12-04). "My lack of faith stopped me being accepted". The Guardian.
  12. ^ Parsons, Paul F (1988). Inside America's Christian Schools. Mercer University Press. p. 42. ISBN 978-0-86554-303-4.
  13. ^ Catholic School Teachers Tempted By Public School Wages
  14. ^ Steven Greenhouse (1999-08-08). "Teachers' Pay: Adding Up the Impact of Raising Salaries".
  15. ^ Hunt, T.; Carper, J. (2012). The Praeger Handbook of Faith-Based Schools in the United States, K-12, Volume 1. ABC-CLIO. p. 177. ISBN 0313391394.
  16. ^ Lazerson (1977)
  17. ^ "Zeman vs Simmon-Harris, US Supreme Court certoriari 00-1751". 2002-06-27.
  18. ^ Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510 (1925).
  19. ^ Morrison, Micah (January 28, 2019). "New York's War on Religious Education". Judicial Watch.
  20. ^ Zubkov, I. Parochial schools (ПРИХОДСКИ́Е УЧИ́ЛИЩА). Great Russian Encyclopedia.
  21. ^ Zubkov, I. Primary school (НАЧА́ЛЬНАЯ ШКО́ЛА). Great Russian Encyclopedia.
  22. ^ a b Protohierarch Vladislav Tsypin. Church Parochial School (ЦЕРКО́ВНО-ПРИХОДСКИ́Е ШКО́ЛЫ). Great Russian Encyclopedia.

Further reading

United States

  • Lazerson, Marvin. "Understanding American Catholic Educational History," History of Education Quarterly 1977 17(3): 297-317 in JSTOR
  • Perko, F. Michael. "Religious Schooling In America: An Historiographic Reflection," History of Education Quarterly 2000 40(3): 320-338 in JSTOR
  • Raiche, C.S.J., Annabelle, and Ann Marie Biermaier, O.S.B. They Came to Teach: The Story of Sisters Who Taught in Parochial Schools and Their Contribution to Elementary Education in Minnesota (St. Cloud, Minnesota: North Star Press, 1994)271pp.
  • Walch, Timothy. Parish School: American Catholic Parochial Education from Colonial Times to the Present, (New York: Crossroad, 1996) 301 pp.

External links

69th Scripps National Spelling Bee

The 69th Scripps National Spelling Bee was held at Grand Hyatt Washington in Washington, D.C. on May 29–30, 1996, sponsored by the E.W. Scripps Company.

Twelve-year-old Wendy Guey, from West Palm Beach, Florida won the competition by correctly spelling the word "vivisepulture". This was Guey's fourth bee, her previous best was fourth-place in the 1993 bee. Second place went to 13-year old Nikki Dowdy of Houston, Texas, who missed "cervicorn".There were 247 participants this year, 51% female, with about one-fourth coming from a private or parochial school, and 12 home-schoolers.

Cathedral Park, Philadelphia

Cathedral Park is a small neighborhood in the West Philadelphia section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Its boundaries are North 52nd Street to the west, West Girard Avenue and the Old Cathedral Cemetery to the south, and the SEPTA regional rail tracks to the north and east. Lancaster Avenue (US 30) runs through the eastern portion of the neighborhood, parallel to the SEPTA tracks. SEPTA’s 10 trolley serves the neighborhood via Lancaster Avenue. A prominent landmark in the neighborhood is the former St. Gregory Roman Catholic Church, located at North 52nd Street and Warren Street. Today, the Greater Bible Way Temple utilizes the building. Across the street from the former St. Gregory church, at the intersection of Media Street and North 52nd Street, is the former George Institute Branch Library of the Free Library of Philadelphia. On January 9, 2011, a fire destroyed the former St. Gregory Parochial School building. At the time of the fire, the building served as the home for the Global Leadership Academy Charter School.

Church of St. Joseph (Bronxville, New York)

The Church of St. Joseph (commonly called St. Joseph's Church) is a Roman Catholic church located in the Village of Bronxville in Westchester County, New York. Officially founded as a parish of the Archdiocese of New York in 1922, the Church of St. Joseph consists of the parish church, adjacent parochial St. Joseph School, rectory, and parish center. It serves residents of Bronxville as well as residents of nearby neighborhoods in Eastchester and Yonkers. St. Joseph's has a permanent chaplain to the nearby Lawrence Hospital.

Church of the Ascension, Roman Catholic (Manhattan)

The Church of the Ascension is a Roman Catholic parish church in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, located at 221 West 107th Street Manhattan, New York City, in the Manhattan Valley section of the Upper West Side. The parish was established in 1895.

East Keal

East Keal is a village and civil parish in the East Lindsey district of Lincolnshire, England. It is situated approximately 13 miles (21 km) north from the town of Boston, 2 miles (3 km) south from the town of Spilsby, and on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

East Keal church is dedicated to Saint Helen, dates from the 13th and 14th centuries, and is built in Early English and Perpendicular styles. It was extensively rebuilt in 1853–54 by Stephen Lewin but retains many of its original features. It is a Grade II* listed building. Edmund de Grimsby, later a prominent judge and Crown official, was parish priest here in the 1320s.

East Keal CE School was built as a parochial school in 1848. It reopened in 1874 as the East Keal National School, became a Junior School in 1950, and closed in 1968.The small village of Keal Cotes lies on the border of East Keal and West Keal.

Espiritu Santo Parochial School

Espiritu Santo Parochial School is a basic education institution in Santa Cruz, Manila, with a core of faculty members and staff.

Immaculate Conception Church (Rochester, New York)

Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church Complex is a historic Roman Catholic church complex located at Rochester in Monroe County, New York. The complex consists of five buildings: the church (1864), former rectory (1871), the former parochial school (1926), the current rectory (ca. 1900), and garage (ca. 1926).It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.

Joseph Rummel

Joseph Francis Rummel (October 14, 1876 – November 8, 1964) was bishop of the Diocese of Omaha, Nebraska (March 30, 1928 – March 9, 1935) and Archbishop of the Archdiocese of New Orleans (March 9, 1935 – November 8, 1964).

Little Steeping

Little Steeping is a village and civil parish in the East Lindsey district of Lincolnshire, England, about 3 miles (5 km) south-east from the town of Spilsby

The parish church is dedicated to Saint Andrew, and is a Grade II* listed building. It dates from the 14th century, with alterations in 1638 and 1701, and later restorations. A cross in the churchyard is Grade II listed and a scheduled monument.Little Steeping Parochial School opened in 1871 and was enlarged in 1904. It closed on 26 July 1963.The Little Steeping railway station opened on 2 October 1848 for the Great Northern Railway, and closed 15 June 1964. It had two narrow platforms with the main station buildings on the down side of the line, and the signalbox opposite on the up side.

Loreto Convent School, Pretoria

Loreto Convent School is a private high school in Pretoria, South Africa, founded in 1878.

Loreto Convent School was founded on 7 June 1878 by Mother Margaret Mary Jolivet, Mother Joseph Colahan and Mother Teresa Colahan, at Loreto Convent, Skinner Street, with 20 pupils in the high school and 6 in the parochial school.

Our Lady of the Angels School (Illinois)

Our Lady of the Angels School was a Roman Catholic elementary and middle school located in the Humboldt Park section of Chicago, Illinois, United States. Some sources describe the school as "in Austin".The school was operated by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago and served as the parish school of the Our Lady of the Angels Church.

The school is best known for the fatal Our Lady of the Angels School Fire, which occurred on December 1, 1958. The fire killed 92 students and 3 nuns and led to fire safety consciousness in private and public schools in the United States.

Queen of Angels Academy (Compton, California)

Queen of Angels Academy was a Roman Catholic high school for girls in Compton, California. It was established in 1995 through the merger of two all-girl schools, St. Michael's High School in Los Angeles, and Regina Caeli High School. The academy occupied the campus of the former Regina Caeli High School, a school with a 99% minority student body, administered by the Sisters of the Holy Family, a congregation of African-American Religious Sisters.In December 2001 the Archdiocese of Los Angeles announced that the academy would close at the end of the current school year, citing declining enrollment and the high level of subsidy by the archdiocese as major factors. The following year the building was converted for use as St. Albert the Great Middle School, part of the parochial school located across the street.

Quezon City

Quezon City (UK: , US: ; Tagalog: Lungsod Quezon [luŋˈsod ˈkɛson]; Spanish: Ciudad Quezón [sjuˈðað keˈson] (listen); also known as QC or Kyusi) is the most populous and a highly urbanized city in the Philippines. It was founded by and named after Manuel L. Quezon, the 2nd President of the Philippines, to eventually replace Manila as the national capital. The city was proclaimed as such in 1948. However, since practically all government buildings are still in Manila, many functions of national government remained there. Quezon City held the status as the official capital until 1976 when a presidential decree was issued to reinstate and designate Manila as the capital and Metro Manila as the seat of government.It is the largest city in terms of population and land area in Metro Manila, the National Capital Region of the Philippines. Quezon City is not located in and should not be confused with Quezon Province, which was also named after the president.

Quezon City hosts a number of government offices, the most important of which are the Batasang Pambansa Complex (the seat of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Philippine Congress), and the Quezon City Reception House (the current seat of the Vice President of the Philippines). Quezon City also serves as home to the University of the Philippines Diliman—the national university—and Ateneo de Manila University.

The Quezon Memorial Circle is a national park and shrine located in Quezon City. The park is an ellipse bounded by the Elliptical Road. Its main feature is a mausoleum containing the remains of President Quezon and his wife, First Lady Aurora Quezon.

Religious education

In secular usage, religious education (RE) is the teaching of a particular religion (although in the United Kingdom the term religious instruction would refer to the teaching of a particular religion, with religious education referring to teaching about religions in general) and its varied aspects: its beliefs, doctrines, rituals, customs, rites, and personal roles. In Western and secular culture, religious education implies a type of education which is largely separate from academia, and which (generally) regards religious belief as a fundamental tenet and operating modality, as well as a prerequisite for attendance.

The secular concept is substantially different from societies that adhere to religious law, wherein "religious education" connotes the dominant academic study, and in typically religious terms, teaches doctrines which define social customs as "laws" and the violations thereof as "crimes", or else misdemeanors requiring punitive correction.

The free choice of religious education by parents according to their conviction is protected by Convention against Discrimination in Education.Religious education is controversial worldwide. Some countries, such as the United States, do not publicly fund religious education nor make it part of compulsory schooling. In other contexts, such as the United Kingdom, an 'open' religious education has emerged from Christian confessionalism that it is intended to promote religious literacy without imparting a particular religious perspective. This kind of religious education has drawn criticism because, it is argued, there is no neutral perspective from which to study religions and any kind of compulsory schooling is likely to impact on the formation of a student's religious identity

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila (Latin: Archidioecesis Manilensis; Filipino: Arkidiyosesis ng Maynilà; Spanish: Arquidiócesis de Manila) is the archdiocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church in Metro Manila, Philippines, encompassing the cities of Manila, Makati, San Juan, Mandaluyong, and Pasay (except Villamor Air Base and Newport City, which belong to the jurisdiction of the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines). The current Archbishop is Luis Antonio Gokim Cardinal Tagle, D.D., S.Th.D, the 32nd to hold the office and the fifth native Filipino following centuries of Spanish, American, and Irish predecessors.

The cathedral church is a minor basilica located in Intramuros, which comprises the old city of Manila. The Blessed Virgin Mary, under the title Immaculate Conception, is the principal patroness.

The archdiocese also owns and manages the following institutions located outside its own territorial jurisdiction: Mount Peace Retreat House (in Baguio City, Benguet), Saint Michael Retreat House (in Antipolo City, Rizal), Radio Veritas (in Barangay Philam, Quezon City; which is under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Cubao, and EDSA Shrine or the Archdiocesan Shrine of Mary, Queen of Peace (in Barangay Ugong Norte, Quezon City).

Roslyn, Pennsylvania

Roslyn is an unincorporated community in Abington Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, United States. Originally called Hillside, the name Roslyn came from rose gardens that once grew there.The first known person of European descent to settle the area was John Tyson, who bought a tract of land here in 1717. He built lime kilns to turn the abundant local limestone into quicklime, starting an industry that operated into the late 20th century.The first rail connection to Roslyn was built by the Northeast Pennsylvania Railroad in 1873. Today's railroad station, which replaced the original in the late 1970s, is on SEPTA's Warminster Line. The location of the train station in Roslyn is at the intersection of Susquehanna and Easton Rd.The community is home to Roslyn Elementary School, one of the seven public elementary schools that make up Abington School District. St. John of the Cross Elementary, a parochial school, closed in 2010, merging with Queen of Peace in neighboring Ardsley, PA forming Good Shepherd Catholic Regional Elementary School.The headwaters for Sandy Run, a tributary of the Wissahickon Creek, are located in Roslyn.

Saint Mary's Cathedral School (Miami, Florida)

The St. Mary's Cathedral School is located at 7485 N.W. 2nd Ave., Miami, Florida.

St. Joseph's Church and Parochial School

The St. Joseph's Church and Parochial School in Hays, Kansas is a historic church and school at 210 W. 13th and 217 W. 13th. They were added to the National Register in 2008.Listed are the St. Joseph's Church and the St. Joseph's Parochial School across the street, but not another school building. The church is a two-and-a-half-story built in 1904. The school is a three-and-a-half-story limestone building.

The Urswick School

The Urswick School is a co-educational secondary school and sixth form located in the Hackney Central area of the London Borough of Hackney, England. The school is named after Christopher Urswick, the Rector of the Parish of Hackney from 1502 to 1522, and a close friend of King Henry VII and his mother, Margaret Beaufort.It was established in 1520 as Hackney Free School. In 1722, it joined with a parochial charity school to form Hackney Free and Parochial School. The school moved to its present location after 1856. The school was significantly rebuilt and expanded in 2011 and was renamed The Urswick School. Today it is a voluntary aided school administered by Hackney London Borough Council and the Church of England Diocese of London.

The Urswick School offers GCSEs, BTECs and ASDAN awards as programmes of study for pupils, while students in the sixth form have the option to study from a range of A-levels and further BTECs and ASDAN awards.

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