Education Training, support and events

Welcome to our Networks, Events and Training Courses programme for the academic year 2024 – 2025. As you will see there is a wide range of support and training on offer, with a variety of courses, conferences and network meetings to support your work as Church of England schools in the Bristol Diocese. You are welcome to attend any sessions, though some will be particularly focused at particular groups, as stated in the session description. Click on the links below to book via Eventbrite.

As you know, being a CE school is something really special to hold on to. Your strong foundation influences all that happens in school and supports the growth of deep connections with your community. We love helping you to be the best school you can be, whether local authority, academy, or one of many partnered with us as a community school. Our courses and bespoke training are designed to have something for everyone wherever you are based and whether or not you are a ‘teacher’. I commend these opportunities to you for developing Christian character, RE, SIAMS, leadership, church-school-home partnership.

Whatever you need, we want you all to flourish so don’t hesitate to make contact.

Liz Townend Diocesan Director of Education

Read the latest newsletter from the Education team

Visit our Eventbrite page for all our training events

Find contact details for the Diocesan Education team here

Are you a new headteacher?

Read our headteacher handbook (coming soon)

Welcome and Briefing to Headship in a CE School (online)

Thursday 12 September 2024, 4.00 - 5.00 pm

This is a short FREE introduction for all those new to headship in a CE school, whether in a substantive post or acting position. We will be seeing you all for a longer session and commissioning at Bristol Cathedral. In the meantime, please make this session a priority, even if you feel you already know us well, to get to know some extra people in the diocese including other new heads and some of the basic ‘need to knows’ about CE leadership.

To book a place click on the link below:

Welcome and briefing to headship in a CE school (online) Tickets, Thu 12 Sep 2024 at 16:00 | Eventbrite

A full day of flourishing! All you need to know about SIAMS

Wednesday 18 September 2024

Friday 17 January 2025

Tuesday 20 May 2025

9.00 - 4.00 pm, Hillside House

£120 (£75 2nd delegate, 3rd FREE)

New to our training schedule, this day offers the chance to engage on a deeper and more practical level with knowledge and ideas for the implementation of the new SIAMS framework. A great chance to connect with Church School Colleagues and including some time to plan ideas and actions for your school

To book a place click on the link below:

A full day of flourishing! All you need to know about SIAMS Tickets, Multiple Dates | Eventbrite

Governor Training (online)

These Courses are FREE for all Governors of Church Schools in Bristol Diocese and essential for ALL foundation Governors. The six sessions included will support governing boards in fulfilling their statutory duties and playing their role in developing the distinctively Christian ethos of their school.

6.00 - 8.00 pm

Session 1 - Introduction to Church School Governance (Thursday 19th September 2024)
Session 2 - Theologically rooted Christian Values (Wednesday 13th November 2024)
Session 3 - Collective Worship and Spirituality (Thursday 9th January 2025)
Session 4 - Monitoring and Evaluating RE (Wednesday 26th March 2025)
Session 5 - The Church and School Partnership Award (Thursday 8th May 2025)
Session 6 - Admissions (Wednesday 18th June 2025)

To book a place click on the link below:


RE and Understanding Christianity

Thursday 3 October 2024, 9.00am - 4pm, Hillside House

If you are a new RE Subject Leader or would like to refresh your knowledge on RE/Understanding Christianity – than this training is for you! The two parts of this day can be booked as half day or a full day of training.

£120 per delegate FULL day (£75 for second delegate from the same school ) with lunch
£90 per delegate HALF day (£45 for second delegate from the same school)

9.30 - 12.30 - Leading great CE Primary RE
This course will equip subject leaders will all they need to know to lead RE effectively in their CE primary school. We will explore the expectations of the Church of England 'statement of entitlement', consider how to build a progressive and coherent scheme of work and how to plan and assess RE for impact on pupil flourishing

1.15 - 1.45 - Understanding Christianity
This course aims to clarify the structure, methods and resources for the use of Understanding Christianity in your school. Recent research has shown that, when taught using its pedagogy, Understanding Christianity can really improve and build confidence amongst staff and pupils. We will recap the basics of the resource for those new or refreshing their knowledge of this material, and explore some ideas for teaching it effectively in relation to current expectations for Religion and World views.

To book a place click on the link below:

RE and Understanding Christianity Tickets, Thu 3 Oct 2024 at 09:00 | Eventbrite

New Headteacher Induction morning and Church School Commissioning Service

Tuesday 8 October 2024, 9.00 – 3pm, Bristol Cathedral

This day is FREE. A Slight change to the usual format of this event this year – we are excited to offer you the chance to join us for this important celebration of Church School Leadership

New Headteachers (Sept 2024) are invited to join us for the full day. We will share important induction training in the morning, exploring key characteristics of spiritual church school leadership and core knowledge of the SIAMS expectations and Church School distinctiveness.

ALL headteachers are invited to join us to share in a celebration in the afternoon. The Bishop will lead us in a short 'commissioning' offering their blessing on the important role undertaken by headteachers in Diocese of Bristol Schools. This will be for our 2024 new headteachers but is also offered to all those who have not previously received this commissioning, regardless of length of service. Those who have already been commissioned and are in post, but would like to share this chance to celebrate and connect together are warmly invited to join the event.

To book a place click on the link below:

New Headteacher Induction morning and Church School Commissioning Service Tickets, Tue 8 Oct 2024 at 09:00 | Eventbrite

DBE Annual Conference 2024 - Love Mercy, Act Justly, Walk Humbly

Friday 22 November 2024, 9.00- 16.00, Double Tree by Hilton, Swindon

This is our only event in the year for all CE schools when we ask you to come along to meet with others in the CE family.

£120 per delegate (£75 2nd delegate, 3rd FREE)

A day for all school leaders: headteachers, senior leaders, all governors including chairs, ex-officios, clergy and church workers engaging with young people and schools. Keynote Speaker: Rev Nigel Genders, Chief Education Officer for the Church of England. Further programme details to follow.

To book a place click on the link below:
DBE Annual Conference 2024: Love Mercy, Act Justly, Walk Humbly Tickets, Fri 22 Nov 2024 at 09:00 | Eventbrite

Annual Regional RE Conference 2025

Friday 7 February 2025 9.00 - 16.00, Engineers House

£120 per delegate (£75 2nd delegate)

We are once again pleased to invite and welcome you to the Annual RE Conference for all subject leaders, school leaders or those teaching RE.

Keynote Speaker

This full day will include keynote presentation from Gillian Georgiou, Diocesan RE Adviser (Lincoln) and national RE writer on religion worldviews and assessment in RE. Further details to follow soon ....

To book a place click on the link below:

Annual Regional RE Conference 2025 Tickets, Fri 7 Feb 2025 at 09:00 | Eventbrite

Collective Worship and Spirituality

Thursday 13 March 2025, 9.00 - 4pm, Hillside House

This course is aimed at all those responsible for Collective Worship and SIAMS. The two parts of this day can be booked as half day or a full day of training. Delegates attending both morning AND afternoon will receive complimentary lunch.

£120 per delegate FULL day (£75 for 2nd delegate) with lunch

£90 per delegate HALF day (£45 for 2nd delegate)

9.30-12.30 - Collective Worship

A time to reflect and focus on Collective Worship in your own school, refresh knowledge of CofE guidance and share ideas and resources.

1.15-3.45 – Spirituality
A chance to explore how your school can create a definition of Spiritual Development that will fit your context and vision

To book a place click on the link below:

Collective Worship and Spirituality Tickets, Thu 13 Mar 2025 at 09:00 | Eventbrite

Called, Connected, Committed: Christian Education Leadership

Thursday 27 March 2025, 1-4pm, Hillside House

£90 per delegate (£45 2nd delegate)

'Educating for life in all its fullness' is the goal of our Church of England Vision for Education: 'Deeply Christian, Serving the Common Good'.

At the heart of our vision is the search for a wisdom that rings true both with the Bible and Christian understanding and with experienced educational practice in the twenty-first century. As such, we want to inspire a set of leadership practices that both exemplify Wisdom, Knowledge & Skills, Hope & Aspiration, Community & Living Well Together, and Dignity & Respect, and that also goes to the heart of educational purpose:

Called - inspiring the vocation of the education Leader

Connected - enabling the flourishing of children, adults, teams and communities

Committed - sustaining long-term engagement in realising this vision for education.

Headteachers are warmly invited to attend this exciting opportunity to hear from Andy, leader on a national level in this inspiring area of learning.

To book a place click on the link below:

Called, Connected, Committed: Christian Educational Leadership Tickets, Thu 27 Mar 2025 at 13:00 | Eventbrite

SIAMS Updates

Thursday 24 April 2025, 4-5.30pm, online

For Headteachers, members of SLT and Governors who have already attended the SIAMS training

£50 per delegate (2nd delegate £20)

This offers a briefing on recent changes and developments to the schedule, including further articulation on the expectation for excellence.

To book a place click on the link below:

SIAMS Updates Tickets, Thu 24 Apr 2025 at 16:00 | Eventbrite

Aspiring Leaders

Monday 19 May 2025 and Monday 9 June 2025, 4-5.30 pm, Hillside House

£50 per delegate for both sessions

This course will take place over two twilight sessions, please note booking will assume attendance at both sessions.

Deputy and Assistant Headteachers considering school headship in the future are invited to share in this two-part exciting introduction to leadership. More details to follow.

To book a place click on the link below:

Aspiring Leaders Tickets, Mon 19 May 2025 at 16:00 | Eventbrite

Prayer Spaces in Schools

Wednesday 11 June 2025, 1-4pm, Christ Church, Downend

This training is FREE for anyone involved with Spiritual Development in Schools and partner Churches: LLMs, church volunteers, subject leaders and teachers. We suggest delegates attend in pairs with a representative from Church and School.

Prayer Spaces in Schools enable children and young people, of all faiths and none, to explore faith, prayer and life’s questions in a safe, creative and interactive way. They work best when developed in partnership between local church and school. Children engage in a series of multisensory prayer or reflection activities from which they can make their own meaning.

Prayer Spaces are a spiritual development experience and can support learning in a range of curricular and extra-curricular areas. They provide a quiet, reflective space where children can consider how they relate to themselves, to others, to the world and to the Divine. There will be a focus on outdoor prayer spaces which also support children to connect with nature.

To book a place click on the link below:

Prayer Spaces in Schools Tickets, Wed 11 Jun 2025 at 13:00 | Eventbrite

New to RE in Church School

Wednesday 9 July 2025, 2-4pm, online

£50 per delegate (2nd delegate £20)

For anyone who has been newly recruited to the role of RE Subject Leader or who would like to refresh their understanding of the role

To book a place click on the link below:

New to RE in Church Schools Tickets, Wed 9 Jul 2025 at 14:00 | Eventbrite

New for 2024-25 - Training packages

Whole School annual package RE Leader package Governor package

Individual School Training - Diocesan Team

Our education adviser team are available for a wide variety of school based additional support and training. You may like to book a staff or governor training session, or an INSET session, on areas such as:

  • RE
  • Collective Worship
  • Spiritual Development
  • Church School Vision
  • RSHE
  • Understanding Christianity

Bespoke training on any area linked with Church School Christian Distinctiveness can be discussed. Please do contact Laura or Julia to arrange.

Training Charges

  • Half day - £250
  • Full day (up to 6 hours) - £360
  • Twilight (up to 1.5 hours) - £150

Individual School Training & Experiences - Others

In addition to our Diocesan education team, we would like to recommend a selection of partnerships working across the area in various specialist areas.

Bristol Cathedral Education & Visits

The new education officer, Rebekah Guy, at Bristol Cathedral would love to hear from schools interested in visits to enhance their religious education curriculum, spiritual development and collective worship. The cathedral team offer a wide range of workshops and activities and can tailor sessions to link with the use of Understanding Christianity and the locally agreed syllabus for RE across the Bristol area.
In particular, KS1 teams may like to experience the new ‘Song Trail’ now being offered, where pupils can encounter the joy and spiritual experience of singing in different locations around the building, exploring different types of music and accompanied by the various amazing instruments the Cathedral has to offer.

Email Rebekah

Bristol Schools Connection

Bristol Schools Connection work across the Bristol region supporting local church and school to deepen their partnerships, so that together they can create space for spiritual development in schools. They would love to hear from any schools or parish partners who would like to deepen their partnership going forward. After an initial conversation, they can provide a twilight session for school and church partners to suit your context and aims.
Jane and Liz are also representatives of Prayer Spaces in Schools. They would be very happy to work alongside schools and their church partners to explore the spiritual development opportunities that can be offered through the use of the Prayer Spaces approach.

Email Liz

Email Jane

Kirsten Cunnigham and Claire Alsop (Horfield Primary School/Bristol Beacon)

Kirsten Cunningham is part-time Assistant Head Teacher and Music Co-ordinator at Horfield CEVC Primary School, leads training as a freelance music consultant for Bristol Beacon and works on other local and national music education projects. She conducts a school choir of 100 KS2 children and enjoys leading music as part of collective worship in school.
Claire Alsop is a Bristol based pianist, organist, composer and arranger. Claire is assistant organist at St Mary Redcliffe church, and as a freelance musician enjoys a range of music-making including teaching, accompanying and solo work. Claire is involved in a wide range of music education activities in Bristol and beyond, and currently supports Horfield CEVC Primary School as a pianist, performing arts lead and composer in residence.

Kirsten and Claire would love to offer support to any schools looking to improve their spiritual development through the use of music and song. Do contact them to discuss your needs.

Email Kirsten

Email Claire

Encounter Christianity 

We provide free dynamic, interactive RE lessons and workshops based on Bristol’s Agreed Syllabus. We work with primary and secondary schools, providing high quality religious education in accordance with the ethos of the syllabus. We have 3 aims:

  •  to enrich local school pupils’ learning in RE and spirituality;
  • to provide pupils with first-hand experiences of 21st century Christianity; and
  •  to build positive community relationships.

Visit Encounter Christianity here

Leadership Development

Note that ALL NPQs are currently offered with free course fees to ALL CE schools in the Diocese of Bristol.

This includes NPQs in Middle Leadership, Senior Leadership, Headship and Executive Leadership. The special CofE NPQ that gives a full NPQH and support for being a headteacher in a church school. As a leader of a Church of England school or somebody whose practice and leadership resonate with Christian values, we want you to experience life in all its fullness (John, 10:10) and enable your staff and children to do the same. See NPQs - Foundation For Educational Leadership ( for more details.

This is an outstanding offer and may not be repeated in future years so do contact your local provider as soon as possible.

Headship appointment

This is the most crucial appointment that any Governing Body will ever make so its important for governors to lead an excellent process and encourage a quality field to apply.

The Diocese supports with all headship appointments across the whole diocese in an advisory capacity, working closely with the school governors and local authority/ academy trust to help ensure the right process, provide sample templates and activities and ensure you appoint the best possible candidate.

A diocesan officer, usually the Director of Education, provides support at all stages and is a non voting advisory member of the appointment panel. Once the candidate is appointed, the diocese will continue to support through visits, induction activities and linking with the local church leadership if required.

Please contact the Diocese at or 0117 906 0100 as soon as you know a change of headteacher is happening in order that the process can be rigorous, not rushed and dates for all parties are agreed well in advance.

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