Anglican Schools Project

16 October 2018

I have begun a project with two Newman University colleagues, Dan Whisker and Lisa Vickerage-Goddard, called Diversity and Success in Church Schools. The project runs from 2018 to 2019 and some key information is below:

Summary
Britain’s increasing diversity (religious, ethnic and social) changes how Anglican schools and churches and the communities where they exist relate to one another. We are interested in how these schools develop successful and inclusive learning communities. This project focuses on how and why certain diverse schools are successful, and will produce a book for schools in the Birmingham area providing practical advice for developing inclusive communities and highlighting these positive elements when presenting their school to potential teachers, students, and their families. The feedback will be particularly useful for schools in recruitment of teachers, by helping schools understand and communicate how Christian values facilitate inclusive and supportive environments for stakeholders of all backgrounds.

Project outline
To better understand these issues we would like to interview parents, teachers, school leaders and clerics about the benefits they get from the kinds of diversity which they encounter in their schools and communities. By talking to people from schools across the city, we hope to get a picture of how schools in different circumstances achieve success.

The aim of our research is to collect stories which show how diverse schools can succeed, and to try to make sense of the different ways that schools achieve success. By sharing these stories, and identifying patterns in what schools and parents do, we hope to help parents and teachers in other schools to think about their own situations and to more easily find ways to move forward in educating and caring for children and for one another.

We will collect some of our interviews and ideas in a short book for schools to use as a tool in their planning. We will also host a series of ‘town hall’ meetings in participating schools and churches to give parents, teachers and the church community the chance to discuss what we find, and to think about how to build on their successes in the future.