Your DBE and Education Team

Diocesan Board of Education

Your new Diocesan Board of Education (DBE) starts its new three year cycle this September. Members work as a statutory body as part of the governance of the Diocese to support and challenge schools and promote high quality education across the diocese. They work closely with the DDE, Education team and oversee the monitoring and review role of the Diocese of Bristol Academies Company which works with all academies. One of their key roles is to work alongside schools to in developing a ‘Schools Capacity’ strategy to ensure sustainability for all schools, growth through new schools and increased pupil numbers, and partnerships to avoid failure or isolation, for example through rurality or small size.

Members represent as wide a mix as possible of people who want to see children and young people flourish across the diocese, and include a Bishop, Archdeacon, vicars in parishes, ex and current headteachers, parish workers, those from church congregations, diocesan synod members and those with expertise ineducation and other very useful fields of work.

We are in the process of updating our website so that you can learn more about this Board who work on your behalf. Do please pray for wisdom for them as they start their new three year term. We hope their role will become more visible over the months.

Communication to you, schools and partners

This electronic newsletter is an attempt to develop our communication with you. Let us know if you have had any problems opening or printing from it. The website is also under development and our Education social media presence is on course to explode with life soon. For this we require good news stories from schools so please don’t be shy about telling us all the amazing things you are doing so we can share these even more widely across the region.

Revised structure of the Education Team

In the summer you received a letter to clarify that the Diocesan Board of Education and Education team work with ALL schools of all models of leadership, academy or otherwise. The role of Diocesan Director of Education (Liz Townend) is now completely disaggregated from the role of CEO of the Diocese of Bristol Academies Trust. The two groups of staff are separate too although we share an office at the Diocese of Bristol at Hillside House and still talk to each other! This means there is an equal responsibility from the DBE and Education team to care and challenge all CE schools regardless of the LA, SAT or MAT governance arrangement under which they work. 

Your Education team is now:

Liz Townend Diocesan Director of Education
Katy Staples Schools Adviser(RE, SIAMs & Collective Worship)
Adam Robertson Schools Adviser(RE, SIAMs & Collective Worship)
Clare Stansfield Schools Officer: Governor Development & Admissions
Ali Driver Education Team Coordinator
Elaine Jones Administrator


Bespoke Training and Consultancy

We will be clarifying our core offer to all schools this autumn, but all DBE schools have an entitlement to at least 2 visits within the 5 yearly SIAMS cycle for support 1) mid cycle, usually in year 2 or 3 of the cycle, and 2) pre-inspection. These are at no charge.

Book training at Our training costs have had to rise slightly to cover costs but remain highly competitive with other providers.

It may well be more appropriate to have bespoke support or training for your school or a group of schools, eg for developing Christian distinctiveness, SMSC/ RSHE development; further SIAMS monitoring, review and support, Collective worship, SMSC development and RE training. These do have a small charge so have a conversation with us so you get exactly what you need for your context.

DDE and DBE member visits

As DDE, I am hoping to get out to visit as many of you and your Chair of Governors as possible in this next year to hear informally how you and your school are getting on, provide an opportunity for us to celebrate what is going well and share any concerns. It will also be a chance for you to help me learn how the Diocese can support you and your school community better. Members of the Diocesan Board of Education are keen to understand the context of schools in the diocese better to feed into their support and challenge role so may well be seen in schools and at training more frequently. Liz Townend