Our commitment in education is to the flourishing of every child and so we were delighted with the response to our conference and discussion document on character education (see details below). Ensuring schools continue to be able to offer the whole breadth of education and promote well-being and spiritual development alongside academic progress and high standards is key to the success of our movement. To that end this has been a week of further political engagement as we seek to ensure Church of England schools continue to make their vital contribution as effectively as possible.
The Education and Adoption Bill had its second reading in the House of Lords and Bishop Stephen’s important speech elicited this response from Lord Nash: “I pay particular tribute to the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Ely for his work in the Diocese of Ely Multi-Academy Trust; he knows that I share his interest in the importance of character development. I also share his concerns about consistency of practice, and I hope that the Schools Causing Concern guidance will provide considerable clarity on this. I also look forward to working with him on refreshing the memorandum of understanding that we have with church schools. We had a helpful meeting this morning and I will work with him to ensure that we achieve the consistency that he desires. The right reverend Prelate succinctly summarised the importance of school-to-school support.” He went on to add: “I am delighted that the Church of England is developing its own leadership development programme, which is so important.”
It was also good to be invited and to have the opportunity to present oral evidence to the Education Select Committee on Wednesday as they carry out an inquiry into the role of Regional Schools Commissioners. I was able to make useful points about the potential for dioceses to contribute as strategic partners in this work and the importance of published guidelines to give clarity for the operating of RSCs in order to improve consistency. You can see my blog on the subject here, but again it was good to know that there is recognition that the Church of England is well placed to contribute to this sort of discussion because we are partners in education across the whole country.
You’ll see more about our exciting plans to develop our work and support through the Education Office in the adverts for new jobs below and I would be grateful if you could ensure these get wide circulation so that we can enhance our network and continue to promote the transformative education you offer.
All good wishes,
Rev’d Nigel Genders
Chief Education Officer
Church of England Education Office
Character Education Conference
On October 16th 2015, the Education Office was honoured to welcome just under 140 delegates from across the network to their conference entitled “The Church of England Approach to Character Education.” The conference which was kindly supported by the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, welcomed delegates from schools, dioceses and organisations from across the country, to launch a national conversation regarding the place, teaching and future of character education within and beyond our schools.
The conference was an excellent opportunity to celebrate the fantastic character work already taking place within the network, with presentations from All Saints Junior School, Bishop Bridgeman School, St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School and Nottingham Emmanuel School as well as an excellent keynote from Bishop Stephen and thrilling panellists which included Professor James Arthur of the Jubilee Centre, Canon Dr Ann Holt OBE from Chichester diocese, Professor Bill Lucas from the University of Winchester and Andrew Day of Future Leaders.
Feedback from some of the attendees included the following:
“I am so invigorated by the variety of ideas and my head is buzzing already!”
“Thank you for a really useful and inspiring day!”
“A thought-provoking and useful day. Well done. Good to have God at the forefront of school development.”
Moving forward, the Education Office intends to keep the conversation going and will launch an online forum and follow-up report that will summarise the key findings from the day, so please continue to watch this space!
You can read the Bishop of Ely’s key note speech here.
Church of England Education Office Vacancies
We are very pleased to be recruiting some new team members to support dioceses in the development of new Church schools, and the brokering of support to schools that need it, as well as filling important posts on RE and SIAMS.
The roles are:
Church schools Network Development Manager
Church schools Network Development Officer
School Character and SIAMS Development Manager
School Character and SIAMS Development Officer
Please see this link for all the details, job descriptions and application form https://www.churchofengland.org/about-us/vacancies/nci-vacancies/national-education-office-roles.aspx