12 August 2020

A call to pray for everyone involved in education at this time

Barbara Easton, head of service for the Methodist Academies and Schools Trust, calls for prayers at this anxious time of important exam results and as schools return in Scotland.

Children have had a very mixed time over the last several months. Many have missed friends and the experience of learning as a community. Some have flourished, spending more time at home than ever before. For a few, more time spent at home has been a time of inescapable trauma. Young people in examination years have been on an emotional roller-coaster which is now reaching its end. Years of hard work, or of moderate apathy, will be judged not by the throw of a dice but by the casting of a mathematical algorithm. Children will receive the reckoning of the generation who went before – those in traditionally high performing schools will be credited with the same high grades as their predecessors; children in less successful schools will be judged no better than their fore-runners. The exceptional youngster not credited as an individual but as an aberration.

Lives, careers and futures in the balance. Scotland is already ahead in the challenges of this process, and in the challenges of the return to school. Staff and children in the rest of the country are anguishing about the full opening, uncertain how to prepare and what to prepare for. The guidance is like ‘an ever-flowing stream’ and yet more is expected.

And so I ask you to pray:

  • For young people and their families as they await, and deal with, their results
  • For the people in exam boards, university admissions offices and schools balancing the requirements of process and the futures of young people
  • For everyone involved in the full return to education; for people in Scotland returning to school this week and others involved in the shifting picture of preparation
  • For our Methodist schools across the country, serving and loving in the name of Christ and of the Methodist people
  • For Methodist schools and universities across the world, each serving in its own place.

God of grace,

we hold before you everyone involved in education at this time.

Give peace, righteousness, energy, delight and empathy all in their places.

We offer all our young people into your care,

Amen.

Barbara Easton is head of service for the Methodist Academies and Schools Trust and Vice-President designate of the Methodist Conference. More about Barbara is here.

 Find out more about Methodist schools here

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