25 January 2010

Church establishes independent Education Commission

The Methodist Church is establishing an independent education commission, responsible for reviewing Methodism's approach to education in Britain.

The Commission will be responsible for identifying a set of principles and a theological rationale, which underpins Methodism's engagement with education. It will include all forms of formal education, including the Church's responsibility for 64 state-maintained Methodist day schools and 14 independent schools across England and Wales, as well as its involvement in further education and higher education. It will also consider the Methodist approach to and involvement with informal education, including links to the Church's work with children and youth, and all forms of chaplaincy in education.

Revd Dr John Barrett has been appointed as Chair of the Commission. "Education is central to the development of both children and adults, and Methodism has always been passionate about accessible, high quality education provision," he said. "It is important to review our approach to education and assess whether our commitment of our resources is appropriate for the responsibilities we have and to determine what our priorities should be for the future."

John is a Methodist minister, and has extensive experience in education, having taught in a Methodist college, a theological college and having worked in schools in the UK. He recently stepped down after five years as the first Principal of the Anglo-Chinese International School in Singapore. Additionally, John is also Chair of the World Methodist Council Executive Committee, and was the first chairperson of the World Methodist Council's Education Committee.

John would like to hear from anyone who would like to be considered for membership of the Commission or who feels they have a contribution to make to its work. Those interested are invited to register their interest by contacting the Methodist Church through the Projects, Research and Development Cluster by email: projects@methodistchurch.org.uk

The Commission will report to the Methodist Conference in 2012.

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