Distinctive interpretation of Policy
As a church based academy founded on Christian values, the governors regard it as essential that the interpretation of all our policies, whether curriculum based or administrative, is based on the teaching of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
It is important to remember that, in its purest form, our faith is not a legalistic one and is based on the spirit rather than the letter of the law.
Jesus’ teachings in the New Testament about observing the Sabbath and the philosophy for life he expanded on in the Sermon of the Mount illustrate this very clearly. Such an approach brought great benefits to ordinary people in everyday life but led Jesus into serious conflict with the Scribes and Pharisees and the Jewish establishment in general.
As a governing body, we undertake to use Christ’s approach –not to undermine policy or statutory requirement but to enhance it.
A topical example could be policy regarding children taking holidays in term time. Up until a few years ago, some parents too readily took their children out of school for holidays and as a result school attendance and progress suffered. Very sensibly central government expected schools to address this and gave head teachers powers to administer fines through the local authority to back this up. However, whilst the central focus of all this was to help children by raising standards of academic attainment, this spirit was too quickly lost by legalistic Government, LAs and schools. Instead, the focus increasingly became attendance statistics for their own sake with less flexibility for case by case decisions. In some cases the narrow interpretation actually led to a break down in parent school relationships and provided an incentive for parents to tell untruths and to encourage children to do likewise. This legalistic approach sometimes had a negative outcome on standards.
This is a very good example of how an over legalistic approach to policy may have a detrimental effect. Had the policy been administered according to the Christian spirit with more concern given to individual circumstances, whilst keeping the central aim in mind, much better results would have been achieved.
There are numerous other examples of where a truly distinctive Christian interpretation of policy does make a real difference although it takes courage and confidence to do this.
The governors expect all policies to be administered with this in mind and undertake to hold an annual discussion during a meeting so as to monitor how effectively we are using our distinctively Christian interpretation.
St Mary's Academy - Policy for Inclusion & Support of Looked After Children - November 2020 109.00 KB
St Mary's Academy - Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions policy - November 2021 223.42 KB
St Mary's Academy - Special Needs Policy incorporating Special Needs information report reviewed - June 2023 248.69 KB
Requests for particular policies not listed here can be made via the school office or by e-mail at [email protected]