Revd Nigel Genders said schools can benefit from having chaplains on the payroll
Chaplains play a "vital role" in the school community, providing support to youngsters separately to school staff, according to Revd Nigel Genders, the Church's chief education officer.
In an interview with the Times Educational Supplement (TES), he said: "The provision of pastoral support for school communities is really important.
"Chaplaincy's a good approach to that. And our evidence is that schools that have got chaplains, they play a really vital role.
The chief education officer suggested chaplains could act as a ‘neutral voice’ for pupils
"I wouldn't want to draw a straight line between counselling service and chaplain, because it's a different approach.
“But the students talking to me knew that it wasn't part of their report, that it wasn't going to go back to their head of year.
“That feels important in this area of work – that you're a neutral voice. You aren't there as someone who's going to tell the teacher."
The Church of England is currently responsible for about 4,700 state schools
The Church of England is currently responsible for about 4,700 state schools and has plans to open 125 more over the next three years, the TES reported.
The provision of pastoral support for school communities is really important
Revd Nigel Genders
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The Revd Mr Genders told the magazine that the Church wants these schools to "meet the needs of all pupils", regardless of their abilities.
"We've been very clear that, because we think every child is important, we want to develop more schools that are meeting the needs of all pupils, irrespective of whether they've got high academic ability or not," he said.
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"How do we provide a school where there isn't currently enough education for the children in the area, and meet the pupils' needs? That's our priority. And that means opening schools for the whole community.
"It's about serving the needs of the many, not just the few."
His comments come as the government pushes ahead with plans to allow grammar schools, which admit pupils based on academic ability, to expand and new ones to open.