A multi-faith forum where Christians, Muslims and Hindus talked about the education of their children was an “eye-opener” for some of the Alliance Commonwealth fellows.
At the event in Slough the different faiths came together to ensure that the school curriculum respected the moral and religious values of the different faiths that made up the town’s multi-faith community.
Dauda Adam Seidu and Rev David Agbo attended the meeting of the Standing Advisory Committee for Religious Education as part of their week-long placement with Oxford Diocese.
Meanwhile in Rochester Diocese, Joe Takeli and Jacqueline Glasgow-Browne saw the way that the diocesan education department supported the leadership role of headteachers.
Dauda Seidu and David Agbo said that the SACRE made it possible for people of all faiths to come together to agree on the curriculum for faith based schools in their community. It provided an opportunity for people of different faiths to interact in the best interests of quality education, and providing a faith framework for education.
“It provides a chance to develop a curriculum for use in schools that will increase understanding and tolerance, and harmonious co-existence of the faiths in the community. This approach enables children growing up to understand each others’ values and views in their different religious contexts. And this will promote harmony in school and in community,“ said Rev Agbo.
Also during their visit to Oxford Diocese Dauda Seidu and David Agbo attended leadership training for headteachers, assistant heads and people preparing for headships in Bicester. It highlighted the need for preparing people for future leadership and management positions in faith based schools.
Their final visit was to the opening of a new building for All Saints Church of England Primary School by the Rt Rev Andrew Prout, Bishop of Reading.
“The partnership between the council and diocese showed to me the power of the community and church acting together as education providers,” said Dauda Seidu.
The weeklong programme in Oxford was organised by the diocesan education adviser Jo Fageant.
In Rochester the attendance at the forum for Anglican and Roman Catholic headteachers and education department was part of a programme organised by Alex Tear, diocesan education secretary. It aimed to encourage relationships between the schools, and also to enable headteachers to share good practice.
Joe and Jacqueline also attended an executive meeting of the diocesan board to streamline the work of the diocese and make it more effective.
And they attended a meeting between the deputy director of diocesan education department, John Constanti, and the local education authority to see the way that the Anglican and local government educationalists worked together.
But the biggest highlight of the week was the heavy snowfall – especially in rural Oxfordshire!
In the photograph Rev David Agbo (left) and Dauda Seidu (right) join Rt Rev Andrew Prout, Bishop of Reading for the opening of the new building at All Saints Primary School.