The Church in Wales has put the above-average results achieved by its schools down to their Christian ethos.
An Education Review conducted by the Church in Wales found that children at Key Stage 2, from seven to eleven years old, performed better than the Welsh average in core subjects.
The Rt Revd Gregory Cameron, the Bishop with responsibility for education said: “We are committed because we believe that education is a fundamental way to help every individual develop and grow into the fullness of the person that God wants them to be: to meet the potential that God gives in every human life.”
The findings were dismissed by Julian Bennett, Secretary of Cardiff Humanists, a group affiliated with the British Humanist Association.
Mr Bennett said “I would certainly question whether any difference in results is down to religious ethos. That’s likely to be nonsense.”
He added: “The distinctive values (of Church in Wales schools), like collective worship and belief in a supernatural entity, has no correlation with academic performance. If they’re saying that’s the reason for these schools’ success, I would call it nonsense – it’s ridiculous.”
But the Archbishop of Wales welcomed the report.
Dr Barry Morgan said: “This review clearly shows how schools with a strong Christian ethos nurture and encourage our children and help give them the best possible start in life.
“That is why Church in Wales schools are successful and why there is a strong demand for places at them.”
The Education Review, the first carried out by the Church of Wales into its schools, looked at all 168 schools, with a combined total of over 20,000 students.