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Schools are only a reflection of the communities in which they serve

I’ve felt for some time that we live in an era where people seem to apportion blame to anyone but themselves, and take little or no personal responsibility for their actions.

It doesn’t help that we don’t have particularly good role models in society.  Politics for example, where dualistic thinking (I’m right, you’re wrong) seems to be particularly dominant.  Politicians seem to prefer to take a ‘pop at each other’ rather than focusing, collectively on crucially important decisions on behalf of the populous.

What happened to developing minds and shaping perspectives through healthy, productive debate? Or, engaging in effective collaboration reinforcing sound ideas, taking thinking further and exploring alternative options.  This is the only way we will find true consensus and move forward effectively.

Parents when faced with the pressures of managing their own child/ren’s fears, expectations, disappointments (I’ve been a parent too) can so easily push them in the direction of the school, with school staff finding themselves addressing perspectives that bear no resemblance to those being developed within the school community, or akin to the values being promoted.

 

Schools are only a reflection of the communities in which they serve.

Schools collect a wide range of diverse opinion, ideology, patterns of behaviour, standards from the large number of families that attend the organisation.   Schools then work hard to embrace, celebrate, tolerate, challenge and shape all those differing perspectives in order to create fully functioning, productive, dynamic, happy learning communities.

The freshness found in children’s spontaneity and unpredictability brings with it great joy.  During nearly 40 years in education I have witnessed children saying bizarre things that I, with my adult mind, haven’t always been able to understand, nor find any association or relevance.  Despite the promotion of clear expectations, I’ve watched children behave completely out of character who, clearly mortified after the event, are relieved to find a responsible adult intervene and coach them through any resulting issues.

School staff can only respond to situations, address perspectives, deal with negative social interactions as and when they occur.  The school doesn’t actively promote these attitudes, behaviours, which often arise as a direct result of children learning how to socialise, interact positively with others, explore their ideas and thoughts within a safe, caring environment.  None of us are perfect, we all make mistakes, and that’s ok.

 

First look at the log in your own eye, before considering the splinter in another’s.

I would urge those with genuine concerns about an aspect of school practice to always approach said school in the first instance in order to establish a realistic perspective.  Everyone works incredibly hard and it isn’t helpful, for example, to read about your work being criticised on social media.

All the schools in Sola Fide operate well-developed, tried and tested practices that are constantly being evaluated by a Trust team, and collaborative group of headteachers, who enjoy vast, collective experience in education.  The Trust works hard to enable each organisation to function productively, with high levels of impact.

Peter Burnley

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