Diocese of Chichester schools in numbers:
- Over 37,000 children attend Church of England schools across East Sussex, West Sussex, Brighton & Hove
- There are 151 Church of England primary and 7 Church of England secondary schools
- There are over 600 Foundation Governors in Church schools, recruited, supported and trained by the Diocese.
- Over 80% of Diocese of Chichester schools are rated Good of Outstanding.
The Diocese of Chichester has over 200 years of successful experience as a provider of schools across Sussex as part of its mission to support and serve the whole community. The Diocese currently has 158 church schools and academies and all their school sites are held in church trusts, 78 of these are in West Sussex.
The Diocese of Chichester Education team works closely with church schools and academies to support and sustain them. It also works in partnership with the three local authorities in Sussex (West Sussex, East Sussex, Brighton & Hove), Universities, the National College, the Department for Education and also with the national Church of England network.
There are over 37,000 children in our schools at any one time. They have a wide range of ability and come from diverse social settings. We welcome those of Christian faith, other faiths and those who as yet do not profess a faith. Those who wish to come to one of our schools are welcome if there is a place.
Over 80% of our schools are rated OFSTED good or outstanding and we have an ambition to increase that to above 90%.
Whatever the status of our schools we want them to unite under a common end which is that of:
“Learning with meaning and purpose: to know God and shape the world”
We expect all our teaching and learning to be rooted in the Christian narrative of creation, redemption and future hope. We want our curricula and pedagogy to foster a spirit of enquiry, creativity and to walk the talk of Christian belief and values in every aspect of school life. Our aim is for all our schools to perform well as part of their Christian responsibility to do their best by all the children and families in their care.
Church schools depend on highly capable staff and good governance.
Church schools employ a whole range of school staff from headteacher to midday supervisors, cooks and cleaners. All staff members, whatever their role, have a vital part to play in ensuring that pupils learn and develop successfully.
Schools may choose to employ practising Christians in some key and non-teaching posts. These usually include the Head teacher and, where appropriate, the Head of RE and Chaplain.
Staff members generally come from a wide variety of social, cultural and religious backgrounds which adds to the rich tapestry of the schools.
Governors set the strategic direction for the school. They work closely with the senior staff to set the strategic framework and to set aims and objectives for the school. Although they make key decisions they do not run the school on a day to day basis, that is the role of the head teacher. In Church schools, Foundation Governors have a particular role in ensuring that the school is both inclusive and Christian in nature.
Diocese of Chichester Academy Trust
The Trust was established in 2014 as a sponsored academy trust with an initial focus on the Hastings and Rye areas. The Trust aims to bring together local church schools, to drive and maintain improvement and share economies to maximise resources for teaching and learning in the classroom. There are now four primaries and one secondary school within the Academy Trust, four schools are based in East Sussex and one school in West Sussex.
What is the difference between Voluntary Aided and Voluntary Controlled Schools?
Voluntary Aided Schools
In a voluntary aided school (VA), the staff are employed by the governing body. The governors may decide to discriminate in favour of candidates who can demonstrate a positive commitment to the Christian faith and its expression in the school when employing teachers and some support staff whose posts have a genuine occupational requirement to be committed Christians. Such posts may include non-teaching chaplains, pastoral heads or bursars. The requirements should be clear in advertisements and in job or person specifications. This right is not affected by current human rights or equal employment opportunities legislation.
Voluntary controlled schools and foundation schools
In voluntary controlled (VC) schools, the Local Authority is the employer and their employment policies are used when appointing staff. The governors of foundation schools with a religious character are the employers. Candidates for the post of head teacher in a voluntary controlled or a foundation school can be asked to demonstrate their ability and fitness to sustain and develop the religious character of the school.