24. Education Commission Report


Subject and Aims:

The purpose of this paper is to present the recommendations and associated proposals of the Education Commission.

Main Points:

Contributing to the provision of education is a major and proper part of Christian mission Methodism has a distinctive approach to education, and has identified principles that underlie this approach. The forefront of Methodism's mission through education is the many Methodists who serve as governors, teachers, assistants, other staff, lay and ordained chaplains in schools and colleges and they deserve to be affirmed and supported.
Methodism, as a provider of formal education, has an opportunity to establish and develop schools in whichthere is a concerted commitment to address fully the 'spiritual, moral, social and cultural' dimensions of education.
Methodism should affirm and celebrate the education offered by its schools.
The advent of academies gives the Church an opportunity it should seize.
Proposals which provide the framework to develop and support the Church's future policy in education.

Background Context and Relevant Documents

Interim Reports to the Methodist Council (MC/11/3) and the Conference in 2011
MC/07/04 (Projects 19 (iii) Education project) This project arises from the recommendations of Ground-Clearing Project 10 to set up an independent commission on formal education.

Resolutions:

  • 24/1. The Conference receives the report of the working party.
  • 24/2. The Conference affirms and recognises the opportunities offered to the whole church by engaging in chaplaincy across the educational sector.
  • 24/3. In affirming its commitment to the provision of schools of a religious character and aspiring to increase the number of Methodist schools over the next ten years, the Conference encourages Districts to report to the Methodist Academies and Schools Trusts (MAST) no later than 2014 on both the need and opportunity for the development of such schools in local communities.
  • 24/4. The Conference affirms the contribution made by the Methodist Independent Schools and urges all of the Methodist independent schools to participate in the continuing development of the Methodist Independent Schools Trust (MIST) so as to achieve the aspiration contained in recommendation 9 of the report.
  • 24/5. The Conference welcomes the creation of the Methodist Academies and Schools Trusts (MAST) and; directs both it and the Methodist Independent Schools Trust (MIST) to work together wherever possible with a view to becoming single trust no later than 2017; urges Districts and Circuits to review their engagement with Methodist Schools and reportn on such engagement to MIST and MAST respectively no later than June 2014.
  • 24/6. The Conference recognises that there may be situations where the creation of a school of a religious character as a free school may be appropriate, provided necessary support structures exist at national, District and Circuit level.
  • 24/7. The Conference refers to the Methodist Council Recommendation 1, 4b, 11, 12, 13 and 14 and directs that the Council considers the proposals contained in them, taking any action that it deems appropriate, and reports on such consideration and action to the Conference of 2013.
  • 24/8. The Conference refers recommendation 2 and 3 to the Ministries Committee and directs the Committee to consider the recommendation in light of ongoing developments in respect of initial ministerial training and the potential development of learning Circuits.