Diversity challenges British Schools

2 March 2012

The fellows have spent the last two weeks in primary and secondary schools in Oxford and Rochester dioceses, and Southwark and Harrow councils. Joe Takeli, Commonwealth fellow from Solomon Islands was also able to spend time in a rural primary school in Devon, as a guest of the Melanesian Mission.

At the schools the fellows had a chance to see in practice some of the education policies they have been studying.

A striking feature – especially in inner London and Slough in Oxford diocese – was the large number of students from different religious and social backgrounds. The. strong schools gave pupils help and support in their own personal development, so that they can learn to work with others who have different cultures and beliefs.

Jackie Glasgow-Browne from St Vincent in the Caribbean, Joe Takeli from Solomon Islands, Rev’d David Agbo from Nigeria and Dauda Seidu from Ghana are the first to take part in the fellowship programme run by the Anglican Alliance and funded by the UK’s Department for International Development.

The programme, which is nearing its end, saw them visit Harrow High School, the Bentley Wood High School for Girls, Slough and Eton Church of England Business and Enterprise College, Walworth Academy and Feniton Church of England Vocational Academy.

One of the participants had a unique opportunity this week to see an official inspection from OFSTED, the government’s Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills, in action. Ms Glasgow-Browne, who is tasked with development inspections services in her home country, said it was a tremendous learning experience.

Next week, the fellows will focus in science and sports education – visiting the Institute of Education in London for a special course on science and Winston Churchill School in Surrey for a practical session will the Youth Sport Trust. They will end their stay the week after with a week-long leadership course at Nottingham University.