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Knight Challenges Church and Schools

by Michael Ford last modified 01 Jul, 2015 10:40 AM

Former Children’s Commissioner Sir Al Aynsley-Green has issued a challenge to Church of England schools.

Knight Challenges Church and Schools

Sir Al Aynsley-Green

Addressing teachers and school staff, he said: “To persuade the sceptics of the value of church school-based education, we must be clear of what it is that is distinctive, what our ethos gives children, and above all whether we do any good. It’s no good saying we’re doing a great job if we don’t have the facts to support the assertion… credible academic research is needed urgently.”

Addressing the wider Church of England, he added: “The best interests of children, young people and families should be central to strategic planning in national Synod, the National Society, the Children’s Society, dioceses and parishes. Strategies should be action-centred, evidence-based and capable of rigorous evaluation and continuous improvement.”

Concluding, he said: “There is an unprecedented opportunity for the Church to take a long, hard look about putting children young people and families at the heart of our mission. We must have the courage to seize the day and to find the resources and competencies at every level to do so.”

The Bishop of Sherborne, Dr Graham Kings, lent his support, saying: “Sir Al has taken a brave step in coming forward. Children and young people are of immense worth and should be nurtured and listened to. As the education map changes, we need to be very clear on where we are, where we need to go and how we can best secure our children’s future: not just financially, but also in their values.”


Sir Al was University Lecturer in Paediatrics and Fellow of Green College in Oxford, Professor of Child Health and Head of the School of Clinical Medical Sciences, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, and Professor of Child Health and Director for Clinical R&D at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and the Institute of Child Health, University College London.
He was then Chair of the first NHS Children’s Task Force, National Clinical Director for Children in government and first Children’s Commissioner for England. He is now Professor Emeritus of Child Health, University College London, and Founder and Director, Aynsley-Green Consulting working with governments and organisations internationally on children, child health and childhood. He is Chair of the Salisbury Diocesan Board of Education, and was knighted for his services to children and young people by HM the Queen in 2006.
Sir Al Aynsley-Green is now the Chair of the Salisbury Diocesan Board of Education. He is available for press interviews.

Original post on the Fulcrum website 
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