Diocese of Chichester Education

Partnership Agreement

Your school is a valued member of the community of the Diocese of Chichester. As part of this relationship, the Diocesan Board of Education has a responsibility to work closely alongside all church schools to develop their distinctiveness and the quality of the educational experience they provide for their children, families and local communities.

One of the core purposes of the Education Team is to provide a range of services and support for all church schools. Over the last few years, the volume and nature of the work of the Education Team has increased considerably, as other avenues of support for schools have changed or reduced.

In addition, the Regional Schools Commissioner sees a diocese as having responsibility for the whole performance of VC, VA and academy schools alongside the local authority or relevant multi-academy trust where appropriate.

What do we do?

The Education Team has a broad remit of responsibilities including:

  • supporting school leaders in key areas of school effectiveness and school improvement, leadership development, appointment and training
  • supporting governance
  • developing leadership structures including partnerships, federations and academies
  • co-ordinating land and building services
  • advising on admissions and appeals

These run alongside our key function of maintaining our more traditional responsibilities for Christian distinctiveness, spiritual development, SIAMS inspections, collective worship, religious education and other statutory functions.

The Board of Education recognises that there is a need, as never before, for schools to be able to access timely and high-quality services. The Diocese has developed the range and quality of the services it offers to church schools and has established an experienced and professional team to enhance the core work of the education department.

What is the Partnership Agreement?

The Partnership Agreement sets out your contribution to the overall cost of providing your school with support from the Diocese together with a number of enhanced service entitlements and training opportunities throughout the year.

Why the Diocese operates a Partnership Agreement

The Education Team receives no public funding for its work. The Diocese provides us with the funding to carry out the basic statutory functions of the Diocesan Board of Education which are set out in the Diocesan Boards of Education Measure. Our charges do not reflect the total actual cost to the Diocese of providing school support.We benefit from substantial financial support from the wider church membership and your contribution enables us to offer much more beyond the statutory minimum.

Your contribution is vital.

What Schools Receive if they subscribe

All subscribing schools will receive one half-day visit from a Diocesan School Effectiveness Officer and up to two subsequent half-day visits from a member of the Education Team depending on the needs identified at the initial planning meeting in the Autumn Term. We understand that schools will have a variety of needs and therefore want to ensure that you have access to the full team to enable you to benefit from the right expertise when you need them.

The initial visit is to work with you to review your school effectiveness and identify methods of additional support. Your Diocesan School Effectiveness Officer will broker support from the rest of the team as a part of your entitlement.This could include further school improvement work, preparing and responding to Ofsted inspections, developing your school’s Christian distinctiveness (which includes advice and training on RE, collective worship and preparation for SIAMS inspections), issues relating to governance, managing your school buildings, school partnerships and future planning, admissions issues and leadership appointments.

Subscribing schools receive fully funded or reduced cost places on training courses for school leaders, teaching staff and governors; preferential rates for annual conferences; support for inspections and further advice with regards to buildings, land and trusts.

We believe that the Partnership Agreement remains good value for money as well as expressing our commitment to each other within our family of church schools. Whilst many schools easily recoup the annual subscription cost through services they access throughout the year. We also believe our support offers a cumulative value through consistent support that is ongoing year after year.

What if we don’t subscribe?

Dioceses must provide some core services to all schools regardless of whether they contribute to the collective purse. In the Diocese of Chichester this “core service” extends only to the statutory expectations as set out in the Diocesan Boards of Education Measure 2021 and administration of these.

As a non-subscribing school, the services and training that you receive will not only be greatly reduced but the additional services that you buy into will also cost substantially more. Sadly, resources are becoming more restricted and we will have to be monitoring the services available to schools that do not subscribe more carefully.

Can we pay as we go?

All the services that are provided as part of the Partnership Agreement can be accessed as individual services but, in these circumstances, they will need to be charged at a higher rate. The prices for these are provided within this document. We are also delighted to be able to offer a series of School Effectiveness packages that can be purchased separately to the Partnership Agreement. Details of these can be found in appendix A at the end of the document below.