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Schools Week: ‘We need an education system that works for the whole of society’

Thursday 2nd February 2017

On Saturday 4 February, the Archbishop of York is launching the Church of England Foundation for Educational Leadership. This is an extract of his article published in Schools Week.


Up and down the country, there are great examples of schools achieving fantastic results for some of the most disadvantaged pupils – results that give them that important piece of paper at GCSE or A-Level, but also equip them to be active agents for change in our society.  My Youth Trust’s citizenship resource has to date reached over 48,000 young people who are transforming their communities, across the North of England.

However, we must not be naïve. Morale amongst school leaders is at a crisis point. Late last year Teach First, Teaching Leaders and Future Leaders together published research indicating that by 2022 we could be short of up to 19,000 school leaders. This could mean that 1 in 4 schools lacks the leadership team it needs with recruitment of leaders a particular concern in rural settings.

The Church of England has surveyed some of our own 4,700 headteachers asking them what their challenges are.

Shrinking budgets and teacher recruitment featured, but many were concerned that they felt under pressure to sacrifice the most imaginative opportunities that school could offer, in favour of meeting inflexible measures. That could mean subjects such as music and PE being squeezed out in primary schools or pastoral time restricted to make way for extra tuition. Too many children are missing out on the chance to learn through wider and extra-curricular experiences which provide the kind of learning opportunities needed to foster positive mental well-being and personal growth.

Our extraordinary teachers are there to prepare our children and young people to thrive not only in school, but in local communities and beyond – and we need to support them. That’s why I’m joining leaders in education from across the country this Saturday, to launch the Church of England Foundation for Educational Leadership, focused on educating for wisdom, hope, community and dignity. The Foundation will work to build up present and future leaders who will share the Church’s vision for education, and also be the best possible professional practitioners who enable our children to thrive.

To read the article in full, please visit:  Schools Week

For more information about the Church of England Foundation for Educational Leadership:

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