One’s moral and spiritual formation is an integral aspect of their education.

In the words of Aristotle, “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”

Education of the whole child requires moral and spiritual development as well as intellectual – one is no more crucial than the other in ensuring human flourishing.

The Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians, of which every Australian jurisdiction is a signatory, acknowledges this:

Schools play a vital role in promoting the intellectual, physical, social, emotional, moral, spiritual and aesthetic development and wellbeing of young Australians, and in ensuring the nations ongoing economic prosperity and social cohesion.

The declaration makes clear that a holistic 21st century education should encompass all these areas.

So why are faith-based schools the only ones tending to the moral and spiritual development of their students?

Because we’re the only ones allowed to.

Despite the need for holistic education being at an all-time high due to today’s “social cohesion” being at an all-time low, only faith-based schools are permitted to meet this need.

This has never been more obvious than last year when public school parents came out in force against religious views being shared with their children by school chaplains.

Chaplains in secular schools are permitted to provide support to struggling young Australians – but not when it comes to the most important aspect of their lives.

In stark contrast, Christian schools are free to education a child holistically: faith is shared, scripture recited and prayer commonplace.

Faith-based schools are allowed to tend to the “moral” and “spiritual” development and wellbeing of their students.

The value of this – an education which informs life in a way in which a purely academic transfer of knowledge never can – is so widely recognised that a good number of our students don’t hail from Christian homes.

Now more than ever, parents seek schools that can partner with them to equip their child for life outside and beyond the classroom.

And only faith-based schools can ensure a child’s moral and spiritual education in addition to their intellectual learning.

Because we’re the only ones allowed to.