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CEE/Education and skills discussion paper
Faith Primary Schools: Better Schools or Better Pupils?
Stephen Gibbons and Olmo Silva
November 2006
Paper No' CEEDP0072:
Full Paper (pdf)

Tags: education; religion; faith schools; educational attainment

We provide estimates of the effect of attending a Faith school on educational attainment progress during the Primary education phase in England. We argue that there are no credible instruments for Faith school attendance. Instead, we control for selection on religious schooling by tracking pupils over time and comparing attainments of students who exhibit different levels of commitment to religious education through their choice of Secondary school and residence. Our findings suggest that, once family preferences and selection into religious education are controlled for, Faith schools have only a very small effect on pupil educational progression in Primary school, this effect being between zero and under one-percentile on test scores at age 11, conditional on scores at age 7.