Educating for Life in All its Fullness
There are fundamental reasons, rooted in the Bible, which have motivated centuries of Christian involvement in schooling in this country and around the world. The God of all creation is concerned with everything related to education.
This is a fresh articulation of the Church of England’s vision for education as we meet the challenges and take the opportunities offered by the present situation. It is not simply for Church schools but, recognising the Church of England’s involvement in education over many centuries, seeks to promote educational excellence everywhere, for everyone. In Church schools the deeply Christian foundation for this vision will be seen explicitly in teaching and learning both in RE and across the curriculum, and also in the authentically Christian worship and ethos of those schools. In other schools which are not rooted in an explicit Christian ethos, our vision for education can still be expressed and promoted as one of human flourishing that can inspire what the school is and does.
The vision is deeply Christian, with the promise by Jesus of ‘life in all its fullness’ at its heart. It encompasses schools, colleges, further and higher education, but in this initial articulation our focus is on schools; other work will follow relating more specifically to colleges and universities as well as exploring the connections with our Going for Growth work with children and young people in the church.
Our vision embraces the spiritual, physical, intellectual, emotional, moral and social development of children and young people. We offer a vision of human flourishing for all, one that embraces excellence and academic rigour, but sets them in a wider framework. This is worked out theologically and educationally through four basic elements which permeate our vision for education:
The vision, in line with the Church of England’s role as the established Church, is for the common good of the whole human community and its environment, whether national, regional or local. It is hospitable to diversity, respects freedom of religion and belief, and encourages others to contribute from the depths of their own traditions and understandings.
It invites collaboration, alliances, negotiation of differences, and the forming of new settlements in order to serve the flourishing of a healthily plural society and democracy, together with a healthily plural educational system.
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