Did you know that 15 million people alive today attended a Church of England school? Today a quarter of all primary schools are Church of England schools and approximately 1 million children currently attend a Church of England School.
For hundreds of years, Church of England Schools have been at the heart of local communities. In the 1800s, a time when there were no state schools, the Church of England begun a mission to set up a church school in every parish in England and Wales. At the heart of this mission, was the vision to provide an education for all, with the belief that moral and spiritual education, was as important to children as learning skills or a trade. Today this deeply Christian vision lives on, educating children to help them flourish regardless of their background or starting point, providing an education that enables 'life in all its fullness'. Could you be a part of this mission?
The Church School is an example of the Church working in the community and working for the community. Many Christians find the opportunity to serve the school in the community as a Foundation Governor extremely rewarding and gain a great deal of satisfaction from bringing their own skills and experiences to the governing body.
Church schools are driven by a distinctive Christian vision which serves the whole community, people of all faiths and none. Church schools are distinctive in their collective worship and religious education offering, their ethos, and the ways in which this distinctively Christian vision is worked into the daily life of the school.
Governors are guardians of the school vision, keeping it alive and ensuring that it is implemented. They are also responsible for ensuring that the school upholds its Trust Deed which sets out exactly what it means to be a church school in the local parish. The expectation is that a church school will seek to offer excellence in education and will above all be concerned to develop the whole human being in a place where the Christian faith is lived daily. As a foundation governor, you will be ensuring that this is happening.
As part of the role, you will need be involved in building relationships within the school community and finding out what happens in school. This might involve talking to leaders, meeting pupils and talking to them about school or looking at books. This will ensure you are well informed about the school. In addition, headteachers tell us the importance of foundation governors who are concerned about the staff and pupils in the school, those who ‘check in’ alongside the statutory role.
Do you feel called to serve? To be a part of educating children to help them flourish regardless of their background or starting point? Maybe you could share your life skills and expertise as a foundation governor in a Church of England school? You do not need a background in education but will need to commit to training to help with your role as a Foundation Governor for your parish Church of England school. If you have any questions, please get in touch.
Lynsay Jennings is a Christian Distinctiveness Adviser and Governance Officer in the diocese's Education team