Local Inter Faith Organisations and Schools
Increasingly, schools and academies want to interact with different faith communities in their locality.
Involvement in the classroom and in school life more generally by local faith and inter faith groups can be a powerful and engaging way to enable pupils to see how faith communities can work together for the common good, drawing on their different faith traditions whilst recognising significant differences in belief and practice.
Standing Advisory Councils on Religious Education, in England and Wales, play an important role in this – particularly in relation to the Locally Agreed Syllabus. In a complementary way, local inter faith groups make a significant contribution to supporting schools to understand better the place of faith and faith communities in the UK today.
Some of the approaches that local inter faith groups are:
- working with local SACREs and Agreed Syllabus Conferences to enhance pupils’ learning on RE and collective worship
- providing visits to schools to support individual religious education lessons and acts of collective worship
- providing speakers for conferences for 6th Formers
- taking part in day or half day events for clusters of schools or in a school for some or all pupils
- providing bespoke interventions for pupils or students following courses where learning about different faiths is especially relevant, such as health and social care courses
- supporting the development of school inter faith groups or clubs or working with a school on an inter faith event – for example for Inter Faith Week
Links to resources
The Inter Faith Network, IFN member bodies and partner organisations have produced a number of resources relevant to the work of local inter faith organisations in schools and academies:
- IFN has already produced online resources about schools and about RE d at: https://www.interfaith.org.uk/activity/education.
- The Inter Faith Week Toolkit includes advice for schools and colleges, local inter faith organisations and local faith communities on planning events and can be a useful starting point for local inter faith groups working with schools and colleges: www.interfaithweek.org/toolkit.
- If you have already engaged with schools and colleges as part of Inter Faith Week you might find published Inter faith learning, dialogue and cooperation: Next steps especially useful: www.interfaith.org.uk/resources/inter-faith-learning-dialogue-and-cooperation-next-steps.
- IFN also has a series of online resources relating to young people, including schools, which can be found at: https://www.interfaith.org.uk/resources/youth-inter-faith-engagement