The Board of Education is responsible for appointing foundation governors to all Church Schools in the Diocese and this is managed by the education team, liaising with PCCs. We offer advice to governors on a wide variety of issues including staffing, admissions, and appointments. Governor training is provided as required and in conjunction Local Authority Governor Support Units. Example: following the publication of the Secretary of State’s new School Admissions Code, the education team arranged training sessions to assist governors and heads of aided schools with production of updated admission policies.
The Department works closely with schools and building professionals to support voluntary aided school building projects. The majority of projects are funded from Department for Children Schools and Families grants held by the diocese on behalf of the VA primary schools, with an additional DCSF allocation for larger projects divided among VA schools in each Local Authority. Advice regarding trust issues and closed schools is a legal requirement of the Board and occupies a considerable amount of the Department’s time.
Example: When an infant and junior school amalgamated several years ago the DCSF did not provide sufficient funds to enlarge an existing hall for the whole school. However, recently following meetings with neighbouring dioceses and the local Authority additional funds were secured to enable the Hall to be extended to meet present day needs.
www.teachernet.gov.uk; voluntary aided schools resources
Religious Education and SACRE
The Diocesan adviser sits on the four local Authority Standing Advisory Councils for Religious Education; Bristol, South Glos, Swindon and Wiltshire, supporting the production and delivery of The Agreed Syllabus for RE in these areas.
Church School Inspection
Every Church of England School is subject to a denominational inspection within three weeks of receiving an OFSTED Section 5 Inspection. This inspection looks at the distinctiveness and effectiveness of the school as a church school with a Christian foundation. The focus of the inspection is on how well the school serves all its pupils and their families and communities, and how effective the collective worship, religious education and leadership of the school are. The SIAS Consultant, Andrew Rickett, will set up the inspection for the school, critically read the report, and liaise with the school about any issues raised by the inspection.
The Diocesan team is available to support Governors in appointing headteachers in Church of England schools. As soon as a vacancy is known a telephone call to the All Saints Centre will lead to an expert adviser working with the Governing body to appoint a headteacher who will ensure excellence and distinctiveness in your school.
Example: The headteacher of St Anne’s School CE Primary in Warmley announced her retirement after years of outstanding service. The Diocesan consultant worked with the school Governors and Local Authority Adviser to advertise the post, to ensure the job description matched the school’s needs, and then on the selection process, resulting in an excellent appointment ready for the new year. After appointment an induction programme was provided for the new head.