As outlined in the message from the Director, ‘Deeply Christian, Serving the Common Good’ is the strapline of our new Church of England Vision for education and this continues to inspire and direct our work. As part of our work in sharing this inspiration with our schools, we have begun to outline an approach to helping making more explicit the links between vision and values and outcomes for children, through thinking based on ‘Ethos enhancing Outcomes’. Currently work on wellbeing, character education and removing disadvantage have been good practice examples shared. This focus will prove invaluable to all in SIAMS inspections and more importantly, in terms of seeing how vision and values really relate to outcomes.
Support for schools
We have experienced a flurry of Ofsted inspections and continue to support our schools in what can be a difficult and challenging climate, with a core offer of wellbeing support for our heads and staff, through schools adviser visits, heads and chairs briefings, bespoke work with governing bodies and our training offer. This will be extended next academic year beyond our current wellbeing menu to include stress awareness, training on managing difficult conversations and bereavement training.
SIAMS Health Check Pilot
The SIAMS health check pilot is nearing completion and has received an overwhelmingly positive response, enabling as it does, schools to reflect mid – SIAMS cycle on their practice, with a focussed visit and targeted support following the visit. Again, this will be rolled out to schools as part of our core offer next year. We are seeking to use this initiative as a way also of identifying and sharing good practice across our church schools and beyond.
CofE Foundation for Educational Leadership
The work of the new Church of England Foundation for Educational Leadership has gathered huge traction over the past few months. We have a large cohort of school leaders in Bath and Wells who have accessed the C of E Professional Qualification for Headship. This is now in the process of being considered by the DfE to have equal accreditation with NPQH. Expressions of interest can now be received so please email Helen Fenn should you have a senior leader, deputy, are new to headship yourself ,or simply would like a’ refresh’ in terms of your own professional development. We will also be setting up a network of schools working together and supported by the Foundation to develop work on character education during the summer term, with funding to release colleagues. Again, please contact me for further details.
Compass for Life Project
Giving children hope and aspirations for the future is one way in which we can seek to support their flourishing and to this end, we have been successful in a bid for funding to run the Compass for Life Project. This programme can be transformational for schools and communities as they support young people to reach out for and achieve their goals. Training, resources and release time for teachers is now available at a subsidized rate following a successful bid to the St Matthias Trust to carry out this work. To find out more and book a place on the training, click here.
Lastly, our toolkit for supporting the partnership between schools and parishes is nearing completion with training dates planned for the Summer term and beyond.
As we move into planning for next year, we are seeking to target our adviser time more efficiently in continuing their pastoral role but also responding to specific needs and issues identified by our schools. Exciting times ahead!