Education is a good thing – and God is very much interested in it. Teaching and learning help us to develop our character and our knowledge about the world that God has created for us. Education can help us to grow into the people that God wants us to be. So, it’s perfectly normal and legitimate for Christian parents to want their children to be encouraged in their faith and have an experience of Jesus that will direct their lives.
Across the world many struggle to access good education, but in the UK it’s a hard-won privilege and a statutory right. And there’s an expectation that we should all have the opportunity not only to learn the three Rs, but also to be able to discern and develop our gifts and talents – for our own benet and for the good of all. All parents want this kind of fruitfulness for their children. All want their children to acquire the values and skills that are needed for independent living and for making a positive contribution to society.
However, the schooling system in the UK is not straightforward. It is vast, diverse and deeply political – seemingly forever subject to a bewildering, incessant flow of ideas, strategies and initiatives to deliver, improve and measure our children’s education. It is into this often confusing and fluid context that our children get their schooling. So if as a Christian parent you feel disorientated, confused or even slightly alarmed, you’re certainly not alone. But you’re also not alone in terms of advice and support. With a particular emphasis on the role of parents and the local church in education, this resource aims to equip you to be more effectively involved in your child’s education. Importantly, from an exploration of the biblical basis for education, it helps to address the question of who has authority. Affirming the primary role of parents, the supporting role of the Church, and the potential role of the state, it commends a positive and proactive engagement within education.
This resource exists to arm the rights and responsibilities of Christian parents and the broader Church community in education during a time of rapid social change. It’s essential that Christian parents and church communities are prepared for the challenges such cultural changes can bring, and can meet them in a confident, positive and fruitful way. And as we better understand how education is a good thing and a God-thing, it is also essential that we realise that we are not alone.
We cover a lot of ground in this resource: there’s information about choosing the right school; a review of the key issues and options for parents and children in pre- school, primary and secondary education, and with regard to Special Educational Needs and Disability; case studies of real life situations; and a brief Frequently Asked Questions section covering some of the presenting issues and scenarios that arise in schools today.