1. Where is it based?
Wherever you are. The programme aims to build regional support networks and we look to recruit several people in the same region bringing them together for face to face training 3 times a year, with other interactions occurring over Zoom. We work with Coventry, London, Essex, Chelmsford and North Devon and aim to work with Christians and churches across the country and to share good practice nationally.
2. How much does it cost - is there any help with the fees?
The programme costs £1,500 per place. We recognise that this is a considerable investment for your church/charity. We will work with you to grant write bids for Christian grants and regional mission funds where you are located to match fund which will bring down the costs considerably. This process begins after application, offer of a provisional place and receipt of deposit. Though we cannot guarantee success, we will work with you closely before the programme begins to help mitigate the costs.
3. What is included for that?
We will work with you at every step for 1 year to launch your project. In addition to 3 days of training and placement experience (an afternoon at a school project), you get a full year of 1-2-1 coaching support once per half term, with bespoke webinars catered to your project, £850 worth of ready-to-go session resources to run in school (Chaplaincy and RE), project consultancy along with the option for us to visit your projects and observe your practice. We have even accompanied our recruits in their meetings with school SLT to agree their project.
This is not just a training programme, it is a year of support for your church to go and do mission and ministry in schools.
Once you have completed the year, we will continue to stay in touch and advise you on making your project sustainable (funding strategies, volunteer recruitment etc). You will be able to access any new resources and be invited to any further training and networking opportunities we have as part of our growing partnership network.
4. How many places are available?
We are offering 12 places on SFiS each year.
5. Do I need to be a schools’ worker already? Is the programme only for those new to schools’ work?
No. Our training is bespoke so we can cater for a wide range of needs, including those just starting out. However, our criteria would include some relevant experience and references from people who know you and support your application. If you already have a project happening, we will work with you to develop it further or to offer it to a different school. We are fully aware that not all Christian faith schools have a close relationship with their parish churches, and that within these schools there are pupils who do not come to church. We know that developing an initial project can build confidence and the evidence needed to launch into a project at a non-Christian local school.
We want to support those at any level who want to develop their work with schools. This may include people who have a lot of experience with children and young people but want to start a new mission initiative with schools or want to improve what they already do.
6. When are the start dates & how do we sign up?
Our start date for 2021/2022 is the 1st September.
The deadline for application is 1st July 2021.
To reserve your place, complete the application form on the website and arrange a meeting with your church/charity/mission leader. We will discuss how we can support you financially by approaching grant trust and funds in your region. The recruitment process and project aims will need to be agreed before we can start this process.
We will require a deposit to hold your place as we cannot guarantee we success in match funding. The deposit will be subtracted from the course fees on receipt of the balance.
7. How much time will the programme require?
We recognise that if you work or volunteer for a church or a charity you are busy juggling multiple responsibilities. SFiS is designed to facilitate your ministry/missional aims - not be an additional thing to your workload.
As a minimum, you will need to be available for the 3 Training Days (9:30 - 4pm), and at least 1 hour each Half Term for the online 1-2-1s.
Whilst there are no formal assignments, you will be asked to prepare 1 brief 10 min classroom activity, and a demonstration of how you would share your faith appropriately in a school setting which we will provide feedback on.
The work you on the ground as part of your role will be the real focus of the time you will need to give to your project - this may just be a couple of hours a week visiting a school.
Additionally, we will need to have a strategic meeting with your church leaders/overseers to agree project aims and outcomes, and to review at the end of the year.
Whilst it will depend on the individual, the SFiS programme is not just training but to launch and establish a schools work project that fits with your churches mission and ministry aims, your time commitment should therefore reflect this.
8. Is this only for people wanting to teach RE lessons?
No. Teaching RE lessons directly is a great way to be in schools regularly but SFIS and good schools work is about much more than that. We exist to help groups and individuals with a mission to reach every children and young person to give them the opportunity to explore Christianity. Because children and young people are in schools most of their waking hours, they are a logical place to start. Over the years, we have helped groups with a focus on mentoring, drama, music and sport, Chaplaincy, Prayer Spaces, assemblies and after school clubs, Christian Union and Youth Alpha.
9. Is this open to all denominations - do I have to have a link with schools already?
Faith in Schools is a Local Mission Partner with Scripture Union, SFIS is an ecumenical project and our article of faith is the Apostle’s Creed. If you are happy with that, we are happy to consider your application. You do not need to have an existing link with schools, this will be part of the goals of your project which we will support you with.
10. Will I get any qualifications after completing the programme?
We are in the process of looking for CPD certification.