History and Development
School Pastors is an initiative operated by The Ascension Trust, a national Christian charity, established in 2002, that oversees a number of projects. It is best known for the Street Pastors movement, which now has more than 9,000 volunteers in teams all over the UK and internationally.
Revd Les Isaac, founder and director of The Ascension Trust, pioneered Street Pastors because of his belief in the Bible’s challenge to the church to be a catalyst for social action.
The Ascension Trust originally planned School Pastors to be the first expression of their vision for social action in urban communities, but in the end it was Street Pastors that came first and School Pastors took several more years to reach fruition.
Like Street Pastors, the School Pastors initiative helps Christians to be relevant to and engaged with their communities.
School Pastors teams are now operating in sixteen areas across the country, in secondary schools and in the post-16 sector. A number of new areas are at various stages of set-up or information gathering.
School Pastors teams find that there are opportunities to work in partnership with other Christian organisations in schools, for example, with sexual health projects or life coaching groups.
As well as patrolling at the end of the school day, School Pastors teams are also involved in mentoring schemes, leading assemblies and running reading clubs. There are many opportunities, with school pastors finding that once a relationship with a school is established, schools often say to them, ‘We like you … what else can you do for us?’