THE INDEPENDENT GREEK SCHOOLS OF ENGLAND (AESA)
The Independent Greek Schools of England (AESA) were set up in 1980, so relative to the other part time Greek Schools in the UK they are fairly new. They are however dynamic and progressive and boast productive activity and great achievements, due to the independent nature of each school, something that we at the Hellenic School of High Barnet, are proud to be founding members of.
The schools that comprise AESA strive not only to teach our children the Greek language, but also to educate them in the Greek Orthodox religion and the history and culture of the Hellenes. They strive to cultivate in them the knowledge and the realisation that they are Greek!
The AESA schools function at different times with some like ourselves operating twice a week and taking children from the age of 4 to 18 years old. In the nursery and the younger classes the emphasis is on teaching and improving the oral language and to encourage friendly relationships between the children, whereas in the older classes the children are prepared for GCSE and A level examinations.
Each AESA school is self sufficient and totally independent. This is what makes them different from other schools. Each school is governed by a Committee of parents of the children who study at the school. The Committee are democratically elected by the parents each year. All the parents are encouraged to take an active part in the day to day running of their school and many of them work tirelessly for the success of their school. this precludes political motivations that all to often lead to other schools who are not independant following a curriculem that is set down in a rigid fashion, with little or no regard for the fact that as Greek speaking in the UK, we have different strengths and weaknesses, that need to be taught towards.
Despite this personal independence the AESA schools recognise that there are circumstances which demand collective action, power through unity of effort, solidarity and support between the schools. The AESA organisation was set up to cater for these needs and to represent the AESA schools at EFEPE (meeting of all the Greek Language schools in the UK.
AESA became a member of EFEPE in 1992 and whilst Hellenism is going through difficult times, it needs the support of all Greek people. We, the Greeks who live away from the land of our ancestors, have an obligation to maintain our culture, our religion and our traditions. We have a duty and the power to keep Hellenism alive and thriving. This will always be the main target of AESA