When choosing a voluntary school there are several things that you should consider. Firstly, there are two kinds of voluntary school; voluntary-aided and voluntary-controlled. Both have strong connections to some description of religious organisations and/or charities.
A voluntary-aided school is managed by its own governing body. It is the governance of the school who decides upon the criteria set for admissions. They also have complete control over the employment of both internal and external staff. However, the school’s buildings and the land on which they sit are owned by religious organisations and/or charities. These organisations or charities help to fund the school alongside the Local Education Authority (LEA). The school’s governance contributes to any building work and the maintenance of the present building structures and outdoor areas.
A voluntary-controlled school is both funded and managed by the LEA, but the land and buildings are owned by a charity or religious organisation. The LEA and governance of the school are responsible for the provision of any services the school requires, such as general maintenance and hiring staff. It is the job of the governors to choose those they wish to hire, however there are usually a few members of staff employed from the charities or organisations who are involved.
Both voluntary-aided and voluntary-controlled schools teach children in primary as well as secondary schools, although there are a higher percentage of primary schools in the voluntary school category*.