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Schools for human flourishing – the whole child is the whole point

College of Teaching Founding Trustees

Collection of case studies and essays published

Eminent voices in the world of education come together in a book entitled Schools for human flourishing, commissioned by Woodard Schools and published today, to show how their approach to education can transform young lives for the better.

School case studies demonstrate how maintaining academic standards whilst focusing on well-being, confidence and relationships creates an education for flourishing.

Authors from a range of school settings, from inner city London to the privilege of public school, from faith-based schools in England to a school born out of the fragmentation of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, show how they bring fresh approaches to learning and prioritising progress for each child. Set against a background where evidence shows the young are increasingly stressed by modern life this book will be of interest to teachers, students and their parents.

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, agrees, “I believe young people are desperate for a new kind of education: one that values them for who they are, and draws out their gifts and creative energies; one that helps them to ‘bear fruit’ in every part of their lives.”

Stephen Conway, Bishop of Ely and Chair of the National Society Council concurs, “Education is the key to breaking the unhealthy link between the wealth of a parent and the child’s chance to flourish. This book is evidence of the critical role that leadership plays in the ability of staff and students to flourish academically, socially and spiritually.

“It is exciting to see how hope is established in these schools through expectation of high standards and a determination instilled in students to build a hopeful future for themselves.”

Chris Wright, Director of Education at The Woodard Corporation, comments “As the Education Select Committee examines the purpose of education and asks, as do so many of us, what is the point of schooling and what are the essentials in education that will promote and prioritise human flourishing, this book sets out to reinforce the message that, as Peter Green and Rugby School put it: the whole child is the whole point.”

Bill Watkin, formerly Director at SSAT, the schools network, now Chief Executive of the Sixth Form Colleges Association, points to “the significance of this collection of essays and case studies at a time when there is a growing awareness of the importance of the emotional, mental and spiritual well-being of young people in the face of more demanding and challenging expectations in curriculum, assessments and qualifications.

“As schools continue to strive for higher standards, this is a timely reminder of the breadth of experiences and outcomes that are important if young people are to flourish in their adult lives.”

Nigel Genders, Chief Education Officer for the Church of England, says, “The recent White Paper from the DfE has much to say about the role of leadership in education. This book is a testament to creative leadership and will, I hope, show that there is not a one size fits all solution. Offering an education for hope, wisdom, community and respect is common to all approaches and one from which life can be lived in all its fullness.”

Catherine May, Headteacher of St Saviour’s and St Olave’s in Lambeth, South London, comments, “We are relentless in our ambition and aspiration for every student, but we do not define success for her. We encourage every student to know she has the right to make her own future, and our role is to open her eyes to the possibilities.”

The school achieves this though investing in providing a secure yet challenging environment that gives equal focus to physical, spiritual, emotional and academic development.

For further information about Schools for human flourishing visit or call 01283 840120.


Notes for editors

Professor John West-Burnham, writer, teacher and consultant and author of Rethinking Educational Leadership and Leadership Dialogues
Libby Nicholas, Chief Executive of Reach 4 Academy Trust
Amira Chilvers, Strategy Officer, Education Office of the Church of England
John Goodey, St John the Baptist, C of E Primary School, London
Dame Julia Cleverdon, Co-Founder of Step Up to Serve
Patsy Kane, Executive Headteacher, The Education and Learning Trust,
Elizabeth Hole, Academy Headteacher, Whalley Grange 11-18 High School
Valentina Mindoljevic and Andrew Watson, United World College, Mostar
Revd Steve Chalke, founder of Oasis UK
Sir Iain Hall, Headteacher, Kings Academy Warrington
Catherine May, Head Teacher, St Saviour’s and St Olave’s School, London
Revd Nigel Genders, Chief Education Officer for The Church of England
Revd Dr John Caperon, Chaplain
Professor Gerald Pillay, Vice-Chancellor, Liverpool Hope University
Kat Pugh, Head teacher, St Marylebone CE School, London
Stephen Tierney, Executive Director of St. Cuthbert’s & St. Mary’s Catholic Academies
The Most Rev John Sentamu, Archbishop of York
Peter Green, Headmaster, Rugby School

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