For this month’s blog, it would be remiss of me to not feature some of the aspects of the King’s Coronation that resonated with me over the last few days.
One of the most prominent features of the coronation itself, and the media coverage of it, was the inclusion of representatives from many of Britain’s faith and cultural communities to reflect the complexion of modern Britain and the King’s own efforts, much documented over many years, to represent all of the nation’s people as best he can.
One of King Charles’ first public audiences after his accession to the throne was with thirty faith leaders, at which he shared with them his pride in Britain being a “community of communities”, and his vow to respect those who follow other paths from his own.
In our schools, we are communities of communities. Certainly, our larger schools will serve a number of distinct and diverse villages or districts, each with their own cultural heritage and socio-economic demographic. Even our smaller schools will comprise children and families from a range of backgrounds, with those coming to reside in the catchment from other areas or countries learning and growing alongside those with deeper familial roots to the locality.
It is our mission to ensure that our schools are places where all feel welcome, and we do this by creating and nurturing a “community of communities”. Schools are communities themselves and, like other communities in the wider world, they are bound together by common interests, a shared vision, and the valuing and respecting of all their members and the contributions they can make. One of John Taylor MAT’s core values is that of “collegiality”. We all know that we can achieve more together than separately, and we can achieve more still if those working together bring a range of skills and experiences to the task at hand. Here, inclusion is no value-signalling soundbite, but a pragmatic approach to achieving more through working together.
The Bank Holiday Monday on 8th May saw “The Big Help Out” take place. A campaign to showcase how volunteering benefits both communities and the individuals who take part, with a long term aim of getting more people involved in acts of volunteering. Within John Taylor MAT we have many hundreds of people, both young and not so young, who devote so much of their time and energy to volunteering. We have school PTAs, Guide and Scout volunteers, young people who will engage in activities via the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, Community Service Volunteering or similar, and children and adults that help out everywhere from sports clubs to residential care homes. It would be appropriate here to once again thank all of our wonderful school governors and Trust directors for the support and challenge they provide our schools and the MAT – all in a voluntary capacity. School governance is the biggest single act of volunteering in this country, and it gives much-needed support to those leading our schools, and gives communities and parents a voice in the schools that serve their localities.
If you would be interested in being a governor in one of our schools, please get in touch with us: JTMAT Governor Advert . We’d be delighted to hear from you.
As always, thanks for reading.