Advocacy

Page topper image panel Advocacy

EdComm promotes, supports and represents the interests of Anglican schools within the Diocese, teachers and students in Government schools and the provision of Special Religious Education (SRE).

EdComm serves the interest of the 39 Anglican schools of the Diocese. (Click to view a list of the current member schools and other Sydney Anglican Schools).

"Jesus said ‘I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.’" (John 10:10)

Education is liberating, empowering and enriching. It has the power to transform lives, communities, societies and our world. At EdComm we believe an education is not complete until students have a knowledge, understanding and commitment to the teachings of Jesus. Students learning to live life “to the full” is the purpose of Anglican schools and the motivation of Christian teachers. EdComm equips schools and teachers for the task of transforming the lives of students through a Christian education — we call this ‘deep learning’.

EdComm has been dedicated to this task since 2006 when the Anglican Education Commission Ordinance (2006) was enacted by the Sydney Diocese. The establishment of the AEC, which had previously existed in various forms under other ordinances of the Diocese, was in response to the size and rapid growth of Anglican schooling within the Diocese and formalised the priorities by which the Diocese supports its schools.

The Objects of the AEC Ordinance are broad and cover:

  • Advocacy on matters of education within and for the Diocese
  • Promotion, recruitment and professional learning of Christian teachers
  • Advancement of biblically-based teaching and learning in Biblical Studies and the broader curriculum
  • Special Religious Education (SRE) in government schools

Our vision is that students will experience deep learning.

EdComm plays a significant role in the education and formation of children and young adults.

By attending Anglican Schools or being taught by Anglican teachers, students will experience deep learning that is:

  • Liberating (able to reach their full potential) 
  • Empowering (able to proactively facilitate change for the common good)
  • Enriching (flourishing, not just existing)
  • Complete (living life ‘to the full’ as God intended)

Students that are deep learnersare best prepared to be a transforming force for good in our community, society and our world.

In promoting deep learning, our Mission is to ‘promote biblically- shaped education by working alongside teachers facilitating their growth in each stage of their vocation’.

The art of teaching within the context of the Christian faith is an important dimension of the professional practice of a Christian teacher. Just as excellent teachers embrace the latest pedagogy and the best practice in teaching, so it is incumbent upon Anglican schools and teachers to deepen their own understanding and practice of their teaching to reflect a biblical worldview.

EdComm informs and enables schools and teachers to deepen their understanding and practice of biblically-shaped teaching and learning. Schools and teachers who engage in deep learning are in the best position to enable students to become deep learners.

To facilitate deep learning for the 38,649 students that attend Anglican schools in the Sydney Diocese and the many more students that are taught by Christian teachers in Government schools, EdComm provides services in four priority areas:

1. Core Activities

Promote and up-skill teachers in their understanding of biblically-shaped teaching and learning:

  • Heads’ Reading Group
  • Annual Conference
  • EdComm (Integral) Dinner
  • Agora
  • Governors’ Symposium
  • Aspiring Leaders Network
  • EdComm Digital platform

2. Recruitment of Christian teachers

Over the next decade the number of teachers needed for the forecasted growth of enrolments in Anglican schools is around 1,500. This is in addition to the many teachers from the “baby boomer’ generation that will soon retire.

3. Professional Learning

For teachers in Christian Education - in addition to the Core Activities listed, EdComm is expanding its on-line courses for teachers new to Anglican schools, teachers wanting to think more deeply about their faith and its relevance to teaching, teachers wanting specific support in a number of Key Learning Areas (KLA) and teachers taking on leadership roles in schools;

4. Advocacy

On behalf of Anglican schools with the Diocese, governments, government departments, professional organisations (such as AIS) and the general public. EdComm also has advocacy responsibilities for SRE in the government sector. The services provided by EdComm are not available through mainstream secular tertiary institutions. EdComm offers a unique service by equipping schools and teachers to engage in biblically-shaped teaching thus enabling deep learning by students. EdComm services are seen as essential for both the Diocese and for Anglican schools.

Why the Diocese supports Deep Learning through Anglican schools and teachers

The scale and influence of a Christian education delivered through Anglican schools and teachers within the Diocese is considerable. Anglican schooling:

• Contributes to the common good in society through the delivery of quality education which:

  • Enables students to flourish as whole people through the empowerment that a quality and holistic education provides;
  • Provides a strong values framework, foundational to Western Society, in which students grow and develop so that they live and contribute to the betterment of society and the common good beyond their years of schooling;
  • Plays an important social function by supporting families in the nurture and care of their children.

• Is a significant arm of ministry through which the Diocese achieves its Mission.

Currently there are 39 Anglican schools connected to the Diocese:

  • 22 independent Anglican schools
  • 17 schools organised through The Anglican Schools Corporation (TASC)

In total, there are 38,649 students and 3,472 (FTE) teaching staff attending Anglican schools each day (2017 data).

In addition, through the work of EdComm, the Diocese supports Anglican teachers involved in public education and those who teach Special Religious Education (SRE).

Future growth of Anglican schools

Effective deep learning requires teachers and school leaders who:

  • Have a personal commitment to the Christian faith
  • Are actively engaged in deepening their own understanding of the application of their faith to their professional teaching practice

Currently, the demand for effective teachers with these qualities exceeds the number applying for positions. This applies to both Anglican schools within the Diocese and to Christian teachers taking positions in Government schools.

The need for Christian teachers to work in our schools is expected grow over the next decade. Researchers predict that by 2031 there will be approximately 256,000 more students enrolled in NSW schools. These students will require almost 20,000 additional teachers across all school sectors.

Anglican schools in NSW will account for approximately 23,000 of these new enrolments. The number of additional teachers needed to populate Anglican schools by 2031 will be approximately 2000 additional teachers. (Source - McCrindle: NSW student enrolments 2031).

These teachers are in addition to the teachers required to replace the ‘baby boomer’ generation currently in the process of retiring.

Recruiting the Christian teachers necessary to satisfy this growth is a significant challenge for the Diocese, schools and for EdComm. These teachers must be identified, recruited and upskilled in biblically-shaped teaching if Anglican schools are to maintain their success in graduating the citizens and community leaders with the character and transformational influence necessary to maintain a civil and just society.

Schools will only be successful in recruiting the required number of excellent, inspiring and transformational Christian teachers over the coming decade by taking proactive action now.

The role of EdComm is to lead schools in identifying, recruiting and deepening the professional practice of Christian teachers and leaders (and therefore the deep learning of students) for our schools. The need has never been more urgent.

 

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