Your Education Team

DBE Education Team

Liz Townend
Director of Education
Liz has wide experience of working with a range of schools, starting out as a teacher and senior leader in primary schools in England and abroad, before working with an LA in school improvement and professional development. She was an Ofsted inspector and NCTL trainer.

As the Director of Education for the Bristol Church of England Diocese, Liz supports all CE schools in the diocese through many roles including developing leadership, safeguarding, academisation and the promotion of church school vision, helping schools to become places where children and staff experience ‘life in all its fullness’.

Katy Staples
School Adviser (Christian Distinctiveness, Collective Worship & RE)
Katy Staples is the Schools’ Adviser for Bristol Diocese. She supports and advises schools in the diocese in Christian Distinctiveness, Collective Worship and RE. She is the SIAMS manager and supports and advices schools in preparing for their section 48 inspections.

She is author of “Valuing All God’s Children,” a guidance document for Anglican schools for countering homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying.

Katy is writing National CEEO guidance on Relationships and Sex Education she is currently updating materials for Church Schools to support relationships and sex education called “Love and Sex Matters.”

Clare Stansfield
School Adviser (Governance and Admissions)
Clare is the Schools Officer supporting Governor Development and Admissions for all schools in the Diocese of Bristol, having previously worked for a number of local schools and, prior to that, at the University of the West of England.

Her work is varied, and includes: advising and training Academy Trusts, governors and clerks on best practice and procedure in governance; acting as Company Secretary for the Diocese of Bristol Academies Company (the Diocesan Umbrella Trust); overseeing the appointment and training of foundation governors for church schools in the Diocese; monitoring and advising on school admissions policies and procedures; and investigating technical queries for the Education Team.

Adam Robertson
School Adviser
Adam is a School’s Adviser for Bristol Diocese and a class teacher at Horfield CE Primary in Bristol. In addition he is a qualified SIAMS inspector. Adam’s role is to support schools in preparing for SIAMS inspections, to advise on developing Christian distinctiveness in schools, and to offer training and support to schools to improve RE and spiritual development.

As a serving teacher, and member of NATRE (National Association of Teachers of RE) executive, Adam has a passion for bringing high quality RE to life in the classroom, and developing spirituality throughout the curriculum.

Ali Driver
Education Team Coordinator
Ali joined the Education Team in 2016 with long standing experience within the education team of the diocese of Liverpool, in partnership with Chester, Manchester, Carlisle and Blackburn. She administered the SIAMs process for 500 schools and a Christian leadership course across the dioceses.

As Education Coordinator for all schools in the Bristol diocese, her skills are well used to benefit DBAT, as she communicates with officers and schools so that all training and project work is well resourced, updated and organised. The Church School Partnership award has taken off under her management and she is currently coordinating the Engaging Younger Generations project, which brings together mentors, volunteers and young people from our churches and schools.

Elaine Jones
Education Administrator
Elaine has supported Church and School Education for many years as Parish Officer for her local Church, a governor for her local school and various temporary roles in the Diocesan Office.

Now, as the DBE’s 0.2 Administrator, Elaine works closely with the Education and Finance Teams in the Diocese providing business support, data management and administration.

Diocese of Bristol Diocesan Board of Education

Adam Beaumont
Adam is a Team Vicar in the Corsham and Lacock Team of Churches, and Deanery Missioner for Schools, Children, and Families in the Chippenham Deanery, which includes being Chaplain to two FE college campuses. 

Before training for ordination, he was a Head of Year and Science Teacher at a large Secondary School just outside Bristol, and he has held various roles within school governance but he is now Chair of Governors and a Foundation Governor at his local CE Primary School. His long and varied association with the education system at a number of levels bring experience and insight to the board of education. 

He has a passion to see all children and young people flourish, and he sees no better way to encourage that than by helping them to meet the person of Jesus as part of an outstanding education. In sitting on the DBE he hopes that together they can facilitate schools in the Diocese to provide this experience for all the young people they serve.

Celia Morgan
Celia is currently a director of DoBAC, member of DBE and Vice Chair of Governors at Easton Primary CE Academy. 

She has, for 30 years, been part of the church family at Redland Parish Church where she is the Chair of Redland Education Centre Management team and leads children’s Sunday groups. Having a Primary teaching and Leadership background (London, Oxford, South Gloucestershire) she knows how important Christian distinctiveness is in education and wants to support church school education and outstanding RE teaching. 

She is married with two sons and two grandchildren and now tutors pupils at home.

Christine Dursley
Christine retired two years ago, having worked in a variety of both church and community primary schools in Bristol and the surrounding areas. 

Her final post gave her the challenging, but exciting privilege as Headteacher, of opening a new, two form entry primary school. An accredited Local Leader of Education, she was also chair of her local cluster of schools and a member of South Gloucestershire’s Headteacher Executive Board. 

As a committed Christian, Christine has always played an active part in the life of the local and wider church. She is a member of the DBE, a Director of DBAT and has recently been appointed to Bishop’s Council, with a specific brief for Education. Christine is also part way through her training to become an LLM. 

She is passionate about education and believes that schools should be places where all children can flourish, growing and learning happily and in safety together.

Fiona Dorman
Having trained as a secondary English teacher in 1994, Fiona has held school posts in London, Leeds and Bristol with responsibilities ranging from i/c PSHE, head of English and senior lead teacher for a whole school improvement programme. 

However, she has also had periods of time outside the classroom doing non-school education jobs, the main one with the London Challenge working on school leadership, a job which gave me interesting insight into education policy. She is currently one of the education officers at Bristol Cathedral and she is also employed by Bristol Cathedral Choir School to work with the chaplaincy particularly on their SIAMS policy and practice. This means she has had the privilege of working closely with the Diocese Education Team. 

In addition to this she works freelance as a consultant with school senior leadership teams all over the SW. She is passionate about education.

Howard Jameson
Howard is a Priest in Charge of St Chad’s Patchway. Before moving to Bristol Diocese he was the chair of the Children and Youth Committee within the Board of Education in Salisbury Diocese, and was a member of the Standing Committee. 

A significant area of his Parish Ministry is to be present in all the local Schools; Church and Community, Primary and Secondary. An area like Patchway, with a history of low educational outcomes and poor indicators of well-being, has some specific demands for the Schools and the communities around them. 

He is inspired by being part of the Church of England’s long tradition of providing education for all in the local community, and supporting Schools as they seek to be distinctively Christian - knowing how complex this can feel on the ground.

Jill Yeomans
Jill has been a member of the DBE for the last eight years. She has been a Foundation Governor at St Barnabas CEVC Primary School and Easton Primary Academy. She is a Director of DBAT. 

She is a passionate believer in the importance of education and every child’s right to a good education. She thinks that this means something broader than getting good results. A good education enables children to contribute to the society of which they are a part and become citizens who strive for a world where justice is for all and bigotry is not tolerated. 

Her ‘mantra’ comes from Micah 6:8 ‘To love mercy, seek justice and walk humbly with you my God’. Although Old Testament, she believes that this encapsulates the Christian message and she hopes that in everything that I she does that she can reflect and be informed by this and Matthew 25:35-40 ‘when I was sick ....’ and do what God would have her do.

Julia Chapman
Julia is passionate about the power of education and its ability to transform lives: even in a turbulent climate of change and challenges, education still opens doors. 

She has worked in education for 25 years as a teacher, leader, inspector for Ofsted, governor and Chair of Governors and, combined with being a parent of four children at primary and secondary school, she has a wealth of knowledge and experience to bring to the Diocesan Board of Education which she has been honoured to be a member of for the last three years.

Lucille Charles
Lucille has recently retired as the Headteacher of St Bonaventure’s Catholic Primary School. She started her teaching career in Yorkshire over 40 years ago and worked in Leicester before moving to Bristol more than 25 years ago. 

During her time as a teacher she has taught in middle, infant, junior and primary schools whilst raising her family. During her career she has been the deputy head of Easton CE VA Junior School and headteacher of St Mathias and Dr Bells Junior School. She joined her present school, over 18 years ago. 

She has always placed learning, achievement and pupils’ wellbeing at the heart of her leadership and feel incredibly lucky and privileged to have contributed to the formation of pupils in Bristol. Her personal goal has been to ensure that every child who joins her school has a positive experience and by the time they leave at 11 they have received a ‘broad and balanced curriculum’, have a concern for others, and are confident and inspired to achieve more.

Peter Robottom
Peter, a chartered planner, now retired from roles with the Planning Inspectorate which brought him to Bristol. He is a LLM at St Mary Magdalene Stoke Bishop and also a Lay Canon Emeritus of Bristol Cathedral. 

He was asked to join the DBE some years ago to use his town planning expertise in property related matters for our existing schools and those we were bidding for, to maintain or increase the proportion of faith schools across the Diocese, secondary as well as primary. To use this expertise he has been a member of the Standing Committee as well as the main Board. 

With grandchildren of school age, he is passionate about maintaining the Christian distinctiveness of our schools as their educational excellence.

Rachael Swonnell
Rachael is a part-time PPA teacher, working across the primary phase in a Catholic primary school in South Gloucestershire. Faith is important in the Catholic curriculum. 

In her current school, an emphasis is put not only into RE teaching and learning; collective worship and regular prayer but also the promotion of Christian values to underpin the ethos; the impact that the application of faith can make in communities as well as the wider world; and the development of child-chaplains to help lead the school’s spiritual welfare. This is in a school where only half of the intake are Catholic. 

Previously, she has taught in non-faith schools in South Glos and Bristol. She has been a member of Redland Parish church since 1992 and has been involved with numerous initiatives which reach out to children and their families including: Sunday groups, children’s holiday club, toddlers, pre-school and parenting classes.

Richard Harris
Richard is a Licensed Lay Minister at St James Church, married to Sian, father of two teenage boys and Professor of Social Geography at the University of Bristol, where his research includes the geographies of education: social and ethnic segregation between schools and school types; widening participation and transitions into Higher Education; and the effects of school markets and choices. 

His new book – Ethnic Segregation between schools: is it increasing or decreasing in England? – is due to be published later in the year. He has also been actively involved in providing support for students with illnesses and other extenuating circumstances, and has witnessed, first hand, the rise in mental health diagnoses, including anxiety and depression, amongst students. 

He believes in a fully inclusive educational system and the potential for Faith-linked schools to help achieve this through a culture of service and care for their own and wider community.

Sally Sibley
Sally is married with four grown up children and six grandchildren who are all at different stages of their development and education. She has a degree in Early Childhood Studies and is familiar with education policies and procedures having served as a School Governor in both Primary and Secondary settings. 

She has worked for 15 years as an Education Welfare Officer and for the last eight years has been attached to the Parish of Mangotsfield linking Schools, Church and Community together. Her main focus has been in encouraging the growth of a Christian Community at the heart of the new housing area of Lyde Green.

Although retiring from this post in July she will remain available as a mentor for Kingswood and South Glos Deanery. She believes that all children and young people deserve access to an education that helps them maximise their full potential in becoming the person that God created them to be and that Christian Values help provide the ethos to achieve this.

Teresa Taylor
From becoming a Sunday School teacher in her youth, training as a Health Educator in her first profession, seeing a family through all levels of education into their first careers, one of whom is herself an RE teacher and 20 years as a school governor in a variety of schools, Teresa continues to have a keen interest in education generally and more specifically within the church school setting. 

As a vicar, she frequently engages with the schools in her parish and she has an excellent relationship with her church school. She is particularly interested in the impact of health, especially mental health, on children’s education and also the interface of church and school.