Home Page St John's CE Thornham Primary School Love 2 Learn N Love 1 Another
Contact Details

Manchester Diocese

St. John's CE Primary School is a Church School supported by Manchester Diocese. There are three reasons you may choose a Church School for your child.


Ofsted judges 87% of our schools to be Outstanding or Good and 95% are judged Outstanding or Good in their SIAMS inspections.


In Manchester, they include:

  • Schools in predominantly urban areas, though a smaller number serve children in dispersed moorland villages
  • Schools which consistently appear in the list of England’s highest performing schools
  • Schools which serve the needs of children who live in some of the most deprived neighbourhoods in Europe
  • Schools which serve children of all faiths and none (including some primary schools with an almost exclusively Muslim population)


Church of England schools have a distinctive identity and ethos, popular with parents and families, where the development of social, spiritual and emotional intelligence is as important as academic achievement. They are distinctive in their leadership and management, their religious education and collective worship.


The diocese works closely with church schools providing training for leaders, staff and governors. Regular meetings, celebrations and conferences allow schools to work collaboratively, pooling resources, sharing experiences and thinking creatively to ensure our schools provide the best education and environment for our children. The information below explains how Manchester Diocese supports our school and the expectations the school has to meet.


In a Voluntary Aided School, a majority of the governing body is made up of Foundation Governors, who are appointed by the Church with a duty to include maintaining the Church of England character of the school in their overall governance. There are foundation governors in Voluntary Controlled Schools, but they are a minority. The Vicar or Priest in Charge of a parish is automatically a foundation governor of the parish school or schools, whichever category they are in. The governors also have some different responsibilities.


The Voluntary Aided School governing body are the employers of the staff: the Voluntary Controlled governing body have delegated powers in relation to the staff, but all members of staff are employed by the Local Authority. Staffing in both schools is paid for from the delegated budget under very similar terms and conditions of service. The only difference is in the detail of teachers’ contracts.


Capital works in VA schools are the responsibility of the governing body, and grant aided, generally up to 90%, by the Department for Children Schools and Families, via the Diocesan Board of Education. In Controlled Schools, the capital work is paid for by the Local Authority, though there is often a requirement for the school to raise some of the money needed. There are different forms of insurance as a result. Both categories of school are financed for revenue and some routine premises costs by the delegated budget.

Religious Education

The Voluntary Aided School has responsibility for its own RE, which is of a denominational character. The Diocesan Board of Education does supply a suitable RE syllabus for VA primary schools, which is in line the Church of England Statement of Entitlement for RE.  Voluntary Controlled Schools follow the Local Authority Agreed RE Syllabus of the LA in which they are located.   

Christian worship

All Voluntary Aided and Voluntary Controlled Church of England Schools are required by law to conduct worship in accordance with the Christian character of the school. There is no difference in law.

Religious Character

All our schools have a Church of England religious character. This cannot be removed, as it is fixed by law. This means that the general conduct and spirit of the school should be imbued with Christian morality and ethics, as well as worship and general ethos. 


Voluntary Aided Schools are their own admissions authority. Annually they must decide on their admission arrangements, and consult other admissions authorities and the Diocesan Director of Education when there are substantial changes. However, like all other authorities they are bound by the Admissions Guidance from the Department for Children Schools and Families, which is designed to produce fair and understandable admissions. Nevertheless, the Guidance permits Voluntary Aided schools to admit children on the grounds of the parents’ or the children’s’ practice of their faith and the details for this are decided by the governing body. Practically all village VA schools simply admit all the children living in their parish first, and the same is true of many parishes in urban areas.



Be on time, school starts at five to nine! Make sure you follow us on Twitter or look at the gallery and Whole School Learning sections of the website under the children's tab to find out about school life at St. John's.