Community School

A community school in England and Wales is a type of state-funded school in which the local authority (LA) employs the school's staff, is responsible for the school's admissions and owns the school's estate.

In the mid-19th century, government involvement in schooling consisted of annual grants to the National Society for Promoting Religious Education and the British and Foreign School Society to support the "voluntary schools" that they ran, and monitoring inspections of these schools. The Elementary Education Act 1870 imposed stricter standards on schools, and provided for the setting up of locally elected school boards in boroughs and parishes across England and Wales, empowered to set up elementary-level board schools where voluntary provision was insufficient. A number of voluntary schools, especially those of the BFSS, chose to become board schools. Parents were still required to pay fees, though the fees of the poorest were paid by the board.

The Education Act 1902 abolished school boards, transferring their functions to counties and boroughs acting as Local Education Authorities. The board schools were thus renamed county schools. The Act also introduced county secondary schools, which were greatly expanded during the 20th century. The schools were renamed community schools in the School Standards and Framework Act 1998. In 2008 approximately 61% of the state-funded primary and secondary schools in England were community schools.