Thursday, 29 January 2015

Is chaplaincy effective?

This study done in 2009 has lots of interesting stuff in it even for chaplains in private schools. The full report can be downloaded at the National School Chaplaincy Association website:

I thought the vignettes at the end were great and profile some of the different roles chaplains play in a school community.

This is the blurb from the website:

"In 2009, a national study of the effectiveness of chaplaincy in government schools was undertaken for the National School Chaplaincy Association by Dr Philip Hughes of Edith Cowan University and Prof Margaret Sims of the University of New England. The study was of the Christian chaplains in approximately 1626 schools for whom the members of the National School Chaplaincy Association were responsible, representing 85 per cent of government schools with chaplains. National surveys of principals and chaplains were undertaken, along with case studies of chaplaincy in 21 schools, selected to represent a wide range of urban and rural, primary and secondary schools across Australia."

Thursday, 22 January 2015

I like being 98!

Are we ever too old or too young to do something to help other people? Not according to the video below, which I am sure you will fall in love with...and there are a bunch of other brilliant, beautiful and inspirational videos over at

 "I Like Giving is a non-profit created to inspire a generous world. The website serves as a platform for unique storytelling and idea sharing. I Like Giving believes a generous world is a better world for all of us. What we want is your action. Go check out a story today and then go create one of your own."

The videos on this website would be very usable in chapel or in any space where you want to get students thinking about God's mission in the world.

You might like to start with the introductory video but don't stop there. My favourite is the one above "I like being 98",  but some of the others are great as well.

For Anglican Church Southern Queensland people these videos would work really well with the Archbishop's challenge to schools this year: To respond to human need by loving service. See his video and the resources for it here:

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Principals face psychological risk

The Australian Principal Health and Wellbeing Survey has been conducted annually since 2011.  

The survey collects information from principals working in all school sectors and assesses the health and wellbeing of Australian principals. 

This is important reading for chaplains and others who may have a role in pastorally supporting their principal.

Their is a good summary at the Australian Psychological Society or the full report can be read at

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Challenge and Choice in Anglican Schools

What is the history and future of Anglican Schools in Australia? This is what Ruth Edwards seeks to map out in her new book “Challenge and Choice - Australian Anglican Schools Today”

The following information has been drawn from a few locations. I have put the links in if you would like to read the full articles.

“According to Dr Edwards, the sector faces some significant challenges and choices as it looks towards its future growth and development. The foremost challenge is what does it mean for a school to maintain a Christian identity when most families are secular in their worldview? How Christian can Anglican schools be when fewer people understand or uphold its worldview?”

“The challenge for those in the system is find ways to, 'recapture our Christian confidence and express it in ways which are educationally exhilarating.’”

“The book was launched [in December] by Mr Patrick Wallas, headmaster of All Saints Merrimac, an Anglican school on the Gold Coast. 'I found Ruth’s book thoroughly engaging, thought-provoking, intelligent and beautifully written. It certainly doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to critiquing current practices. It offers practical, achievable solutions to some of the angst and obfuscation surrounding the familiar question of what role Anglican schools might play in modern society,' he said.”

“The book is based on Dr Edwards first-hand research in schools, interviewing teachers, heads and chaplains. The book illustrates 'a lack of definition and/or focus when it comes to our schools living an overtly Anglican, Christian and spiritual vision,' said Mr Wallas. 'Few of us would argue with the tension we feel in seeking to serve two masters.'”

“The first part of the book explores in depth the historical and social context of Anglican schools in order to help us understand why Anglican schools are like they are. These initial chapters look at the historical forces which have shaped contemporary Anglican schools; at the growth of the independent school sector in Australia and the place of Anglican schools within that sector; and the nature of current society and its impact on contemporary schools.”

“The second part of the book explains what Anglican schools have in common with one another and the typical characteristics they display. Challenge and Choice looks at concrete evidence from real Anglican schools, in particular from their staff, using surveys and interviews. “

"The book then examines the major impact of the positioning of Anglican schools in the independent school sector, realistically considering these schools' shared experience of business imperatives and client expectations as well as religious activities."

There is also a news article on the Anglican Schools Australia site:

This is an important contribution to the small volume of literature on Anglican Schools in Australia. It can be purchased from Barton Books at