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What is the purpose of education?
An opening letter from John Baugh, our New Chief Education Officer.

As someone who has dedicated their entire working life to education and educating, with over thirty of those years devoted to school leadership, you would expect me to have a clear answer to the question. I believe I have, and it isn’t very far from the one I would have given forty years ago. 

It is my belief that, in contemporary society, the primary function of education is the flourishing of humanity, including personal, social, emotional and spiritual well-being – and attainment and achievement. 

Education is to equip people for life in all its abundance and to improve the life chances of everyone. It gives hope, understanding, skills and happiness.

The mission of Artemis Education is to deliver schools where students flourish in a safe, secure and happy environment, enabling learning, creativity and discovery. Artemis schools are places where pupils, staff, and parents are respected for their values and beliefs and appreciated for who they are. They are free to express themselves but are always expected to be respectful of others. Social, moral, physical and emotional well-being are not seen as ‘add-ons’ but are essential to our schools’ philosophies.

After many years of school leadership in four schools, where I endeavoured to put these same principles into practice, I am delighted to be joining an organisation that is creating schools that are primarily concerned with the centrality of the person. Schools where the values and ideals of a community are expressed freely and with integrity. Schools where the spirit resides in the people’s hearts and in that community’s culture. Schools that give priority to the lived human experience and the relationships that form and inform these experiences. There is much evidence to show that students can also thrive intellectually and academically when these attributes are in place.

None of this is new. A report from the Advisory Council on Education in Scotland (1947), said this: “Education thus presents itself as at once preparation for life and an irreplaceable part of life itself: Hence the good school is to be assessed not by any tale of examination successes, however impressive, but by the extent to which it has filled the years of youth with security, graciousness and ordered freedom, and has thus been the seed-bed for the flowering in due season of all that is of good report.”

It is worth noting the date of this report, and it is good to know – although it is now over eighty years later – there are still educationalists determined to develop schools where human flourishing and personal development are seen as governing principles. Artemis Education is passionately committed to this vision and it is a privilege to be able to help guide the Artemis schools in this mission.