Anglican Schools Commission
Living Our Values
The Revd Peter Laurence OAM, Chief Executive Officer
Lent is all but over. Palm Sunday and Holy Week are upon us once again. School holidays have arrived after a busy term.
The forty days provide all Christians with an opportunity to reflect on how we live our lives. One thing about Anglican schools is that we clearly and publicly state our values for the world to see. If you go onto a school website, you’ll find a series of words (and often accompanying statements) which the school uses to communicate to its community and beyond what it holds dear and how people should treat one another. By placing such values front and centre, it means that you and I can assess the authenticity of a school in living the values they proclaim.
Now I’m not suggesting we become judge and jury for your local Anglican school! But it is an important reminder for us all that if we say our school, parish or agency values something deeply, then others should expect that we’ll live this set of values and they can reasonably hold us accountable for so doing.
Just over a year ago, the Anglican Schools Commission Board adopted a new Strategic Plan. As part of its development, the Board reviewed our long-held Core Values. It provided an opportunity to reflect on what we see is important to our organisation - what we believe and how we expect people will treat one another within the ASC family. Some changes were made to these Core Values to reflect the ASC in the 2020s.
The ASC’s Core Values are:
|Faith||Living and teaching Gospel values and Anglican traditions|
|Excellence||Pursuing high standards in all things|
|Justice||Demonstrating fairness, compassion and conviction; advocating for the educationally disadvantaged|
|Respect||Respecting self, others and our world|
|Integrity||Acting with honesty and openness|
Promoting diversity and celebrating difference
The Governing Board is responsible for setting the highest standards in relation to living the values we proclaim. Similarly, those of us who hold senior offices must work hard to ensure, by the grace of God, that our words are values-laden and our decisions and actions are values-inspired.
One of the small ways our Board seeks to embed these values in its business deliberations is to clearly state our Vision, Core Purpose and Core Values at the top of each meeting’s Agenda papers. It’s a simple way to remind those gathered around the Board table of the awesome responsibility we hold as the current custodians, to ensure that discussions held and decisions made reflect the stated mission, purpose and values of our organisation and the broader Anglican Church.
This week is Holy Week. What a privilege it is when the school term is still operating during Holy Week, because there’s no better time of the year for an Anglican school to proclaim the Gospel through story, worship and deeds, therein living their values in and through the school community.
Living our values is something to do 24-7 and 365 days a year. But taking a moment during Holy Week to do a reality check in this space is timely.
Happy Easter to all in our schools, and to the broader readership. Christ is Risen. Alleluia!