The recent rise in the number of faith-based schools in Britain creates some interesting issues. On the one hand it is clear that the government, and certainly former Prime Minister Tony Blair, perceives such schools as contributing not only to choice and diversity but also to the raising of educational standards. This appears to be because of an increasingly influential theory that schools with a strong 'spiritual capital' (Caldwell, 2008) can raise student achievement. Spiritual capital is defined by Caldwell (2008: 241) as 'the strength of moral purpose and the degree of coherence among values, beliefs and attitudes about life and learning'. Faith based schools would appear to fit these criteria. © The Author(s) 2010.