Methodist Schools: Transforming Lives – 2023

Methodist school leaders from across the world meet at global conference to discuss the transformative power of Methodist education.

Methodist Schools: Transforming Lives – Bath/Bristol (27 to 30 April)

Some 260 school leaders and representatives from Methodist state funded and independent schools across the world (including South Africa, Hong Kong, Australia, Bahamas, USA, Norway, India and Argentina as well as the UK) met together to celebrate the wonderful work in and continuing relevance of our Methodist Schools.

Commemorating the 275th Anniversary of the founding of Kingswood School in Bath by John Wesley, and the resonance today of the initial principles on which it was based, delegates considered how, working together, Methodist Schools can fulfil Wesley’s mission in the future.

Andrew Gordon-Brown, Headmaster of Kingswood School, said:

“It has been an honour to co-host such an inspiring conference of such extraordinary global reach. School and University leaders from all corners of the globe have travelled to Bristol and Bath, where Methodist education began, bound by shared values and a belief in the power of education to transform lives. I feel sure that the pebble that this conference has dropped in the pond will create a lasting legacy as delegates return home with a renewed commitment to collaborate for the benefit of the young people we have been called to guide.”

The conference explored the extensive and transformative power that a Methodist education holds in shaping young people’s lives through a range of keynote sessions seminars and workshops, engaging with current issues and challenges in the education landscape. Delegates considered the different challenges schools and explored themes of inclusivity and diversity, spirituality, sustainability, governance and wellbeing.

The Rev’d Dr Roger Walton, Chair of the Methodist Schools Committee, said:

“This was a most significant conference, the first of its kind. The many thousands of Methodist schools represented are making a huge difference in children’s lives. I believe this is the start of something extraordinary.”

Over 3 days, we looked back at the story of our Wesleyan education heritage and forward to the future as the Inspiring Lives Education Trust, our newest academy trust, begins its life. As a world community of Methodists in education we considered how, by working together, we might be more than the sum of our parts in a global parish.

Julie-Anne Hewitt, CEO, Epworth Education Trust, said:

“At the core of the Methodist ethos is our desire to do all we can for our children, our schools and our communities. What was heartening about this conference is that those values were evident not just in the Methodist schools in the UK, but also in other Methodist schools across the globe. The thoughts, ideas and best practice that were shared will play an exciting role in the development our newest multi-academy trust, Inspiring Lives, as well as further enhancing the good work that is already happening in the Epworth Education Trust. Together we will grow stronger and do even more to shape the lives of children and young people.”

The true spirit of the conference, and of our global schools work, was well reflected in the song commissioned for the occasion, with contributions from children across the world.

Written by

Kingswood School

Kingswood School

Kingswood is a school like no other, with an abundance of outdoor learning space and boundless opportunities for children between 9 months to 18 years old. Here we celebrate individuality and uniqueness in an unrivalled woodland setting in one of the safest cities in England.

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