‘Created and Loved’ – Principles Guiding all Christian Schools

The recent release of ‘Created and Loved: A guide for Catholic schools on identity and gender‘ by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has been welcomed by Christian schools across Australia.

“The thoughtful, comprehensively researched and deeply caring response in the Guide reflects the commitment to best practice in responding to these issues found across Christian schools”, said Mark Spencer, Director of Public Policy for Christian Schools Australia.

“Valuing the worth and dignity of every person and looking at each student holistically, rather than seeking to define a person by any single characteristic, allows genuine care for our students seeking to address all their needs,” he said.

Like Catholic schools, Christian schools across Australia operate as communities of faith, Christian learning communities where all staff are called to live in accordance with the doctrines, tenets and beliefs of the school and to authentically witness to that faith in their relationships with students and families.

Students in Christian schools come from a range of backgrounds and have a range of needs, with schools playing a vital role over many decades in supporting these young people to grow and mature. Research shows that graduates from Christian schools are being well prepared to find ‘a sense of meaning, purpose and direction of life’.

Parliaments across Australia need to ensure that they are fully informed of the research informing the best practice approaches to pastoral care.

MPs need to resist the shrill claims of those wanting to mandate an approach to care that doesn’t address the broader issues involved.

Activists have been making false claims about the approaches to care in faith-based schools, without any evidence and for base political purposes, to derail Parliaments from protecting religious freedom.

The documents’ examples of actual care across the hundreds of faith-based schools in Australia shows once again how blatantly false these unsubstantiated accusations are.

Parents are flocking to schools that provide quality care that values all students and looks at their needs holistically.

Parliaments need to protect the rights of these parents and ensure schools retain the essential freedom of employing staff and providing care in accordance with our faith.