Diocese of ChichesterDiocese of Chichester

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Learning with meaning and purpose: To know God and shape the world

A few words from the Director

I can hardly believe that we are almost at the end of another academic year and that I have been here for almost two years! Time really does fly, although I suspect that right now the end of term can’t come soon enough for most of you. From our many visits to schools the team here is very aware of how punishing the schedule has become, albeit with many enjoyable moments within it. I hope that you and all your staff will have a well-earned rest during August as you take stock of the past year and continue to plan for the next.

For some of you this will be your final farewell to your school as you retire or go on to a new post. I would like to give you a special thanks for your years of service in our church schools. You have been precious to us and wherever you go next, you continue to be precious to the God whom we serve. That never ends.

From our team we shall be saying goodbye to Martin Lloyd after almost sixteen years. It is hard to imagine the DBE without him. Many of you have contributed to his farewell gift which we presented to him at a lovely Bishop’s reception in Etchingham at the end of June.

Our theme for the wonderful Leavers’ Services this year was “Take it to the Lord in prayer” and we were so pleased to give every Year 6 pupil a pocket guide to prayer which we hope will be a little reminder of this vital source of strength as they go forward. Some of them and some of you will be disappointed with the KS2 outcomes. I urge you to be prayerful about your reactions and responses and don’t come to any hasty conclusions especially since the test was so different!

In September we shall be gearing up to support you even more in the new academic year and we hope that you will take advantage of that support. Your feedback to us tells us that you think we are beginning to seriously “step up our game”. We shall be welcoming 12 Diocesan Improvement Partners, all with specialist and general school improvement expertise. Ruth Cumming and Mandy Watson will be heading up this team. Lesley Hurst will be the new Assistant Director looking after the business development of our work and Lesley Gannon will be the new CEO of the MAT. So all change!

You will get a chance to meet the new senior team at the Deanery Briefings, all of which are in the Autumn term and listed in the publicity about the Support Programme for the year which is hitting your desks NOW. Please look at it and start making your bookings. I particularly want to draw your attention to the launch event for the Understanding Christianity Project on September 15th. We would like every school to be represented as we are expecting this project to be taken up in all our church schools and some community schools. It will vastly improve the teaching of RE and Christianity in our schools.

The Diocese is launching “A Year of the Bible” in Advent and as schools we shall be asked to take this up. The Understanding Christianity material will be core to this. We will outline other initiatives before Advent. We are also a pilot region for the Church of England’s new National Foundation for Education and the new Church Education Qualification for Leadership. I have already sent details round of these new initiatives and during next year we shall be integrating and disseminating the new C.of E. vision for Education, which I have helped to create.

There is much else of interest on the programme, including the heads’ conference on inspirational and courageous leadership, the heads’ retreat, meetings on becoming an academy and the governors’ conference. Do join in! Of course, we cannot go on providing any of this without your SLA contributions for which we thank you.

Many of you will know about the Memorandum of Understanding between the Secretary of State and the Church. There is an expectation on the Dioceses that we will strengthen our relationship with our schools through better and stronger governance and more involvement in school performance and defining the Christian distinctiveness. None of our schools can make arrangements to join or lead a MAT or Federation without the agreement of the DBE. I have just returned from meetings with Sir David Carter and Nicky Morgan where the group selected to meet them was urged not to agree to MATs formed on friendship groups or around personalities. We look forward to discussing the future with all of you in the coming days.

Finally, we shall have a very busy summer as we put together more than one bid for new free schools to join the Diocese of Chichester family. Do pray for us as you lie on the beach or in your garden, at least for a few days.

Once again may I thank you all for what you have done for all the children and adults in your care? The Education Team and the DBE appreciate you all. We look forward to seeing you throughout next year.

Ann Holt
July 2016


The Siobhan Dowd Trust have funded many small projects throughout the UK and love to get books into the hands of young readers.

In 2016 they are funding an opportunity for schools and groups who work with disadvantaged young people to apply for a series of small grants to be spent in local independent bookshops.

The amount awarded in each UK region will total £1000.

For more information go here

A Statement from the Rev Nigel Genders, Church of England's Chief Education Officer, on work of the Education Office on Living Well Together

Contact us:

Diocese of Chichester
Education Department
Diocesan Church House
211 New Church Road

Phone: 01273 425687

Email: schools@chichester.anglican.org

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