West Midlands Churches’ Further Education Council supports colleges in their provision for students’ faith and spiritual/moral development, and supports the churches’ engagement with the FE sector. Started with Saltley Trust help in 1987, it undertakes a variety of project work.
The West Midlands Churches’ Further Education Council exists to:
- Support colleges in the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of students and the training and resourcing of staff in matters of faith and spirituality
- Support churches in valuing FE and lifelong learning as part of their wider involvement in education, and providing resources and training to partner colleges in their work
To fulfil these aims, the Council initiates projects, organises training and networking events and brings together chaplains and others working in further education. It can also assist in brokering partnerships between colleges, churches and other faith communities. It is also currently helping explore potential for a regional FE chaplaincy development post.
The Council’s membership is drawn from across the different Christian churches represented in the West Midlands region, including individuals with years of experience working within the FE and lifelong learning sectors. Rooted in the Christian faith, it works with and for people of all faiths and none.
West Midlands Churches’ FE Council is currently the only regionally-based ecumenical body coordinating the churches’ engagement with the further education sector.
Currently, WM Churches’ FE Council is engaged in several key strands of project work:
- Increasing Faith Literacy in your College – an annual series of CPD events for FE college staff. These have included workshops on ‘handling difficult faith-based discussions and disputes in your college’ and ‘creating and managing faith spaces in your college’.
- The development of new resources on Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development for 16-19 settings [link to project page: ‘SMSC for 16-19s’], drawing on the 24 ‘dispositions’ at the heart of the Birmingham Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education faithmakesadifference.co.uk. This is a partnership project with DaretoEngage www.dare2engage.org.
- Plumbing the Depths, Climbing the Heights – a reflective resource for further education chaplains to explore their experiences of ministry, based on the book of Jonah, and some original artwork by the fabulous Si Smith.
The Council was brought to birth in 1987 by the former director of St Peter’s Saltley Trust Maggie Keane, and others. Since then the Trust has been a regular supporter of the Council’s work.
You can read more on the Council’s own website: www.wmcfec.org.uk