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Teachers Are Losing Their Religion

4 December 2017

In the past, Becky has studied the religion of pupils who attended Church schools, but she hasn’t seen anyone explore the staff who work there. So last week we asked a range of questions on religion in order to understand you better.

What we have seen is a huge decline in religion across England – 62% of teachers now say they have no religion.

We wondered if this was a change from when people grew up; so we asked teachers to tell us their religion today and the religion they were raised in.

What the chart shows is a substantial loss of Anglican identification. Of the people who are not religious today (the top bar), around 20% were raised Anglican (represented by the purple part of the bar). Lapsed Catholics count for less than 10%. 

Another metric used to measure religion is church attendance. It helps see if self-reported religion is carried out in daily life.

Loads of people who say they are religious don’t really bother going to church! Across Anglican, Catholic, and ‘other Christian’ groups, around 20% of attend church less than once or twice a year!

But now for the MOST IMPORTANT statistic:

In Anglican and other Christian schools, the majority of teachers are NOT RELIGIOUS.

Catholic schools are doing slightly better but only 42% of their teachers are Catholic… a huge change within a generation.

The Catholic Education Service state that 51% of teachers in their schools are Catholic. It is still a requirement for some senior positions (eg the headteacher), which may mean the numbers are boosted when taking into account more leaders. (Most of our users are classroom teachers). A dropping percentage of Catholics among the teaching population will, however, make this requirement more difficult in future.


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