Faith schools dominate a new league table of England’s best primary schools.
Almost two-thirds of the 268 schools which achieved “perfect” SATs results this summer were Anglican, Roman Catholic or Jewish schools.
Their prominence comes despite the fact that nationally they account for only one-third of the total number of schools.
The children at the 166 faith schools which were awarded “perfect” status attained at least the appropriate level for their age group in English, Maths and Science.
Revd Jan Ainsworth, the Chief Education Officer for the Church of England, said: “The latest results show church schools are raising aspirations and providing inspiration for young people across the country.”
She added: “A distinctive and inclusive ethos undergirds everything that Church of England schools do, from creating a caring atmosphere to developing a sense of strong sense of purpose.”
Her comments came in response to critics who attacked the results, claiming that the success of faith schools was based on their admission policies.
But Revd Ainsworth said: “Claims that this performance is down to the selection of children by ability at the point of entry is a slur on the hard work of teachers, governors and parents.
“The national admissions code makes absolutely clear that there is no scope for offering places based on ability.”
The top performing school was Hampstead Norreys Church of England primary school in Thatcham, Berkshire.
Last week it was revealed that secondary schools run by faith groups are better at building community cohesion than secular schools.
The research, led by Prof David Jesson of the University of York, analysed the Ofsted reports of various schools.
It found that secondary schools run by faith groups scored eleven per cent higher for their promotion of community cohesion when compared with secular schools.