Founders of Christian faith school resign after secular takeover
The founders of a Christian-ethos free school have resigned as trustees, citing anger at the government’s “lack of protection” for the institution’s religious character.
Elizabeth Gray and John Burn have stepped away from the Grindon Hall Christian school in Sunderland as a lengthy takeover by the Bright Tribe academy trust nears its conclusion.
The pair say they had no choice but to resign because Grindon Hall, which Gray founded as an independent school nearly 30 years ago, before it converted into a free school in 2012, will lose its Christian ethos.
Burn, a former headteacher and member of the National Curriculum Council, told Schools Week: “Bright Tribe is not a Christian body, it’s a secular body, and it’s ridiculous to expect a secular body to manage a Christian school.”
He said the school did not have the same government protection given to those that formally belonged to the Church of England or Catholic church.
“The Anglican schools are protected,” Burn said. “We’re a non-denominational Christian school, and we think we should be in the same position as the Anglican and Roman Catholic schools.”