Methodist Church plans to build schools in deprived areas


The Methodist Church has today reaffirmed its commitmentto the education sector, pledging to increase the number ofstate-funded Methodist schools over the next ten years.

Currently, 22,000 children attend the 65 state-funded and14 independent Methodist schools in England and Wales. All theschools have a Christian foundation, serve their local communityand are fully inclusive, welcoming pupils of all faiths andnone.

The Methodist Conference agreed today to reinvigorate theChurch's engagement with education and has asked MethodistDistricts across Great Britain to identify local communities thatneed new schools, especially in areas of socio-economicdeprivation.

"Everyone matters to God and no one should be deprived ofthe opportunity to develop to their full potential," said Dr JohnBarrett, Chair of the Education Commission. "The Methodist approachto education has always been about the development ofthe whole person - not just reading, writing and arithmetic.We believe that all human beings are made in the image of God andour schools have a strong commitment to creating an ethos in whichevery person is valued. They seek to fully address children'sspiritual, moral, social and cultural needs."

The Conference, meeting in Plymouth this week, also agreeda range of other proposals to expand the Church's involvement.These include offering greater support to Methodists who work inthe education sector and aiming to increase the number of chaplainsto further education intuitions and Methodist schools.

Last week, two Methodist schools received recognition inthe annual Church School Awards. Kent College Canterbury wasawarded the London and South East region prize and St Andrew'sChurch of England and Methodist Voluntary Aided Primary School inDerbyshire also won a special commendation.

You can hear more about the report of the EducationCommission in an interview with John Barrett online  here. 

The full Education Commission report is availableonline  here. 

A hi-res photo of Dr Barrett is available to download  here.