The Edmund Rice Foundation’s New Director of Schools for England former Headteacher Roisin Maguire wants to help inspire a global movement ‘to give the voiceless their voice.’
Roisin retired as Headteacher of the flagship Catholic secondary school St. Joseph’s College in Stoke on Trent at Christmas but has immediately been appointed in a new role overseeing the ethical mission of the 12 Edmund Rice schools nationwide.
Speaking from the Edmund Rice House Woodeaves in Hale Barns, adjacent to another of their schools St. Ambrose College, Roisin said: “At the heart of the Edmund Rice mission is a desire to reach out to the marginalised, to promote social awareness in our young people so they can have the authority and confidence to make the necessary changes in the world.”
Ms Maguire added: “With the recent political changes across the world I feel it is more incumbent than ever on the individual to help the less fortunate because it now appears some governments no longer see it as a priority or, what is worse, even their duty.”
Ms Maguire said: “Edmund Rice schools have a wonderful record of helping the marginalised not just in Britain and Ireland, but across the globe and I want us to be part of an international movement covering the many thousands of pupils in some 200 schools worldwide.”
As a Headteacher Roisin played a lead role in coordinating the English network of Edmund Rice schools to inspire their pupils through their actions outside the classroom on a local, national and international basis.
St. Joseph’s like St. Ambrose and many others up and down the country have assisted refugees primarily from the Middle East but also other developing world countries to integrate, have encouraged their pupils to volunteer across their own communities in local charity shops, hospitals and places of worship and have helped to establish and support stronger educational centres in Sierra Leone and Kolkatta, in the face of extreme poverty and political negligence.
She said: “We want to develop global citizens who are not content to sit back on their success in the First World but want to be advocates for those who are less fortunate, who want to reach out and help those struggling in the Developing World.”
Her first mission is to continue inspire the Edmund Rice teachers in England and St. Ambrose is to hold a special one day conference with all the teachers from the national network invited to learn more about what is already being done and what more could be done.
She also wants to continue the work of the Edmund Rice ‘Education Beyond Boundaries’ movement which saw many hundreds of delegates meet in South Africa last year to discuss a world wide plan.
She is pictured with St. Ambrose College Sixth Form students Aldon Braganca and Daniel Kovcuniak who are both active members in the Edmund Rice International Society and have met and talked to many displaced Syrian families about their needs and St. Ambrose Headteacher James Keulemans, who said: “One of the great values of being a part of the Edmund Rice group of schools is that we share wonderful values and crucially have a support system which upholds the ground breaking vision and methods that the blessed Edmund Rice inspired in his schools in the early 19th Century in Ireland.”
Simon Carter, Press Officer, St. Ambrose College
O God, we thank you for the life of Edmund Rice.
He opened his heart to Christ present in those oppressed by poverty and injustice.
May we follow his example of faith and generosity.
Grant us the courage and compassion of Edmund as we seek to live lives of love and service.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.