Parents Voice in Government School Education

The philosophy

The ideas behind Relationship Based Education

In these articles, John Hendry (with help from other writers and thinkers) lays out the philosophical basis for Relationship Based Education.

John says that relationships are not a ‘side issue’ or an ‘add-on’ in the world of education; they are central, they are the ground from which everything else grows.

Schools are inherently social places, and learning happens in a context of many relationships – between students and teachers, teachers and parents, students and other students, all the way to the office staff and the crossing supervisor.

Relationships matter

John argues that teachers, parents and children need an understanding of relationships – how to form and sustain them, how to deal with mistakes and conflicts, how to recognise positives and negatives – in order to create an environment where children can thrive and learn.

The central message of John’s work is, “relationships matter”. Quality relationships are fundamental to our mental and physical health, our capacity to do well, to contribute and to add meaning to our lives.


One of the critical elements of a quality relationship is trust. Many factors in our modern society have led to an undermining of trust in institutions and in our fellow human beings. But we can learn to form quality relationships based on trust, and these relationships are the basis of a positive and resilient culture in any group or organisation – and that includes schools.

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