Diocese of Norwich aims to lead education landscape
The Diocese of Norwich has set out its ambition to continue playing a pivotal role and lead in the new education landscape across Norfolk and Waveney in its new education strategy, just published.
The vision is not only for Church schools but seeks to promote educational excellence for all whether living in a rural area, coastal community, market town or urban area.
The strategy sets out a vision where all Diocesan schools work together in Multi Academy Trusts (MAT) and reveals plans to form a new company to provide services centrally for schools which choose to procure via this route. “The aim is to provide high quality, value for money services and cost savings which can be released back to support school improvement,” says the strategy.
Diocesan schools and academies (111 in total) represent more than half of Norfolk’s small schools and serve a quarter of the young people in the Diocese (nearly 17,000 young people in total). They serve local communities and are fully inclusive, welcoming those of all faiths or none, those with additional needs and those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
“At the heart of this new strategy is a love for schools and the young people in them,” says the strategy. “A core feature of the Diocese's approach has always been the notion of belonging to a family where service of others is promoted, alongside other Christian values such as the worth of each individual, love, forgiveness, humility and respect. These values are lived out in our schools and academies every day.
Speaking about the strategy the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham James said: "Our schools should be places of God’s blessing, where Christ’s promise that we should have life in all its abundance is tangible. The strategy seeks to bring a great many different areas of our life in education together – what we hope to achieve in the character and ethos of our church schools; how we aim to make them all good schools in the Ofsted ratings since our children deserve no less; how to recognise the value of every school in the diocesan family whatever its character; how to make sure our small schools – and we have many of them – are given the support to make them a part of a much bigger enterprise without imperilling their valued place in the communities they serve.
"This reflects the wider Church of England’s vision for education."
The strategy sets out a vision where all Diocesan schools are working together in Multi Academy Trusts (MAT): “We believe that the MAT model is the best way, although not the only way, for our predominantly small schools to be sustainably good or better."
The strategy also acknowledges a strong desire for the Diocese to play a role in supporting those who are vulnerable or disadvantaged and ensuring they receive a good education.