Read a five minute interview with Rev. Andrew Colmer, Enterprise South Liverpool Academy’s full-time Chaplain:
How long have you been with ESLA?
I joined the Academy in November 2010 and worked across both sites until we moved into our fantastic new building this spring.
Where else have you worked? Have you previously worked in a school?
As a student I studied Marketing and Law at university and then worked for Sainsbury’s for four years in Customer Service before training for the Anglican ministry at St John’s College Nottingham. I then worked in parishes and churches in Roby, Bootle and most recently as Vicar of All Souls on Mather Avenue. During my time at All Souls I took regular assemblies at Springwood Heath Primary and served as a school governor at two local schools.
How does your role with ELSA compare with roles you’ve held before?
It’s different in some ways but similar in others. Although I work closely with the students I’m also here to support the Academy staff as well. I enjoy working with people and find playing an active role in the school community hugely rewarding, even though it’s completely hectic from 8am until late!
Do you enjoy working in a school? What’s the best bit?
I do enjoy it a great deal. Whilst I was based at All Souls in Springwood I became a governor of New Heys High School (one of two schools ESLA replaced in 2010) and was involved in the discussions around the formation of the Academy. I feel very fortunate to know both the organisation and the local community so well, I feel at home here. My greatest pleasure is seeing how our students respond to what we do here and blossom into young adults.
What might a typical day look like at school?
I like to greet students in the morning as they arrive before taking a year group assembly or undertaking a guest assembly at one of our local primary schools. I have started to teach some RE classes this year, which I am really enjoying and of course I offer pastoral support to the student and staff body throughout the day. Then I might do some planning or attend meetings in the community with partner organisations and groups. It’s a very varied role.
Do you work with any other schools or groups in the surrounding area?
I go into 12 local primary schools half termly to deliver an assembly which works well as Year 7 students joining us already know me and what ESLA is all about. We work with charities and support local activities and groups. The school has raised funds for Comic Relief and Operation Christmas Child, donated to the South Liverpool Food Bank and taken part in community litter picks. I’m in the process of developing a Chaplaincy Team to link ESLA with nearby parishes and volunteers to enrich school life, look out for more detail on that soon.
You were recently appointed to Liverpool Diocese’s Board of Education, what does that involve?
The board meets regularly to resource, support and encourage the 120 primary and secondary church schools across the Liverpool Diocese, which stretches from Widnes in the south to Warrington, St Helens and Wigan in the east and Southport in the north. It is a great privilege to be involved in this work.
Do you have any final thoughts?
I look forward to coming to the Academy every day, we have a great staff team which I enjoy being part of and fantastic students who make every day different.