Become a member of the Diocesan Board of Education

First published 22nd May 2019

What is the Diocesan Board of Education (DBE)?

The Church of England has a vision for education so that all may have life in all its fullness.

The vision describes:

  • educating for wisdom, knowledge and skills;
  • educating for hope and aspiration;
  • educating for community and living well together;
  • educating for dignity and respect.

The DBE oversees the work of the whole diocesan family in promoting this vision. The DBE is a statutory board of the Diocese, with four purposes set out in law:

  • promoting the church's vision for education;
  • promoting RE and worship in schools in the Diocese;
  • promoting church schools in the Diocese;
  • co-operating with others to promote our vision.


What does the DBE do?

The DBE does not run schools, but it is held accountable for the performance of 70 church schools, some of which are within our Diocese of Bristol Academies Trust (DBAT) and the Cathedral Schools Trust (CST).

The Dioceses commitment to the flourishing of all children means that we want all the schools to be places where the God-given potential of every child is realised. This is the root of our commitment to raising standards.

The Education Team that forms part of the Diocesan Support Services, works on behalf of the DBE. Currently it works to support Religious Education and Christian Worship in community schools by advising SACREs within the Diocese.

Supporting Leadership

The Education Team works directly with the senior leaders in each of the church schools, usually in a supporting role. Alongside this it promotes and sponsors programmes through the Church of England Foundation for Educational Leadership. This model of work allows us to identify the strengths in our network and to help broker capacity. Partnership with the Regional Schools Commissioners team and local authority school effectiveness teams gives the work added credibility. The DBE is not the employer or line-manager of school leaders.

Supporting Governance

The DBE appoints governors and trustees to church schools and academies within the Diocese of Bristol. It directly provides high quality training, review and support for governance at all levels.


We have the joy of knowing that in being involved in education we enable students to let their light shine.

Jill Yeoman, DBE Board Member


Who are we looking for on the DBE?

Board members will have a passion for education, and be enthusiastic in promoting the Church of Englands vision for education.

The role is about sharing in the system leadership of education, so we need members with a range of experience and skills at a high level.

Members will come with experience of significant leadership, from a range of backgrounds including education, business, higher and further education, charity and community based sectors as well as the church.

Among board members, we will look for some of the following:

  • Experience of senior strategic leadership in complex organisations;
  • High levels of competence in dealing with different kinds of data;
  • Insight into system leadership in education;
  • Experience of leadership in outstanding church schools;
  • Significant knowledge of the national RE agenda;
  • A high level of theological literacy.

The board will need a range of skills, including:

  • Creativity; remembering that as a board we are more likely to convene and co-operate, than to control and direct;
  • Leadership; with oversight for a complex but powerful network, sometimes acting as ambassadors for our vision;
  • Clarity of thought; holding officers and the diocesan family to account.

The Board includes at least four clergy and is a combination of elected and co-opted members. Our aim is to have a board that will have strong credibility with national and regional partners, as well as the deep roots that will allow it to shape education in parishes, schools and colleges.


"If you believe that the spiritual and physical needs of children and schools in our Bristol Diocese are important beyond measure then standing for membership of the Diocesan Board of Education is for you."

Celia Morgan, DBE Board Member


The Election

The DBE has a three year term from September 2019. Up to 14 members are elected by the Diocesan Synod, and up to eight members are co-opted. Those standing for election need to do so between 7 May and 13 June.


Further information

Ali Driver, the Education Team Co-ordinator, will be able to help if you have a general enquiry, need additional information, or you would like to register your interest in being a Member.

Ali can also put you in touch with existing board members, if you would like to speak to someone who has direct experience of this role, or help you through the election process.

Powered by Church Edit