The Boost of reimagining schoolswork together

5th Sep 2022

With schools now returning all over the UK and Ireland, it’s the perfect opportunity to reflect back on the Boost Conference that took place earlier in the summer.

The third Boost Conference – called Re-imagining Schoolswork – took place on 18th June at the Emmanuel Centre in London. It was the first in-person Boost event since March 2018, with a number of online training events taking place since then. It was organised by the South East Partnership – a network of 30 organisations across the south east of England, including the Church of England, Moorlands College, Red Balloon Foundation, Scripture Union, Youth For Christ and Urban Saints.

The conference explored the fundamental impact that the Covid pandemic had had on Christian schoolswork and encouraged delegates to re-imagine how Christian involvement with and within schools could be really effective in the season following the pandemic. The keynote speaker for the day was Dr Sarah Holmes, from Liverpool Hope University, who shared her research into the impact of Covid-19 conducted with schools workers, teachers, parents and church leaders. 

Sarah took some time to reflect on what had been shared – the feelings, challenges and frustrations from lockdown – as well as the positive, encouraging experiences and opportunities that have arisen since March 2020. She challenged the delegates present to consider what a vision for schools ministry should include and then concluded the day by exploring what opportunities lie ahead for schools workers and churches. Can the pandemic acts a catalyst to see more opportunities to engage with local schools and how might that work?

Other sessions at the Boost Conference included building relationships between schools and churches; building a resilient strategy for schoolswork; building new models of ministry based on chaplaincy; as well as well-being and mental health. There was also a Q & A session featuring an expert panel from across the day’s speaking team.

Missed the conference or want to listen again?

The day was well received by the delegates attending, with feedback comments such as ‘encouraging’, ‘engaging’, ‘informative’ and ‘professional’. When asked what they would personally take from the day, the responses were varied – including the importance of vision and strategy, the desire to nurture faith rather than just sow seeds, the need to collaborate more and focus on relationship-building, and the reminder to persevere and ask for more help.

The South East Partnership team are now planning some follow-up on this topic, and discussing what further support the Partnership might be able to offer to children’s and youth workers in the South East of England.

Visit the South East Partnership website


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