Headlines – 10 September 2021

Welcome back to a new school year!

I hope that you had a restful and refreshing summer break and that term has started well for you. As we embark upon a new academic year I think that we are all hoping and praying that it will be less eventful than the previous two!

I was able to spend the morning of Thursday 2 September in a school with a staff group considering their Christian Foundation and seeking to re-imagine what it means to be a Church school in their context as we step into what ever 2021/2022 has in store. It was a joy to be amongst real people, to be able, albeit tentatively, to meet together and I realised just how much is lost when we cannot be physically together.

We are of course forever changed by the experiences of the last two years. We have learned new ways of interacting and being together, sometimes Teams and Zoom are more efficient, they are certainly a greener alternative to driving to meet people! I think that this way of meeting will remain part of our personal and professional lives, but being physically present with others provides a different level of connection.

I believe that this is because we are created to be relational. The Christian Faith teaches that at the heart of God there is relationship. God in three persons, the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Genesis 1:26 and 27 talks of God, when he creates human kind in the plural “Let us make humankind in our own image, after our likeness…male and female he created them.” Our need to be in relationship with others is an inherited characteristic from God who is himself relational. It is this same God, in three persons, who chooses to become flesh and walk amongst us as Jesus, and who sends the holy spirit at Pentecost to remain active in the world. These are acts of love, of a desire to draw us more closely into relationship with him.

So it is no surprise that we have all found separation so difficult. Whilst being physically together as we learn how to live with Covid-19 brings risks, and we must as much as possible mitigate these risks, I hope that the joy it brings will outweigh our fears and we can begin to re-experience the fullness of a life lived in community.

You and your school communities are as always in our prayers, and we are here to support you as you navigate the next few months. Please do be in touch if we can be of help, or if you just need someone to listen to the fears and frustrations that come with leadership in difficult times.


For your prayers…Diana Jackson

It is with great sadness that we report that Diana Jackson passed away very suddenly on 20 August 2021.  April Gold attended her funeral which took place at St John the Baptist Church, Berkswell yesterday.  Diana was a long serving Member of our Board and had also served as a Foundation Governor and Chair of Berkswell CofE Primary School for many years. Diana’s vast experience and understanding of education was combined with a very compassionate and caring nature.  She was dedicated and committed to her roles and the DBE and Berkswell school community will miss her hugely.  Please pray for her family and the school community.




Headteacher Termly Briefing – Tuesday 14 September – 2.00 to 3.30pm via Zoom

Don’t forget to join us for the Headteacher Briefing next Tuesday afternoon 2.00 to 3.30pm on Zoom.  Book a place here.


  • Opening Reflection – April Gold
  • The Work of KICK – Joe Lowther, CEO
  • SIAMS Schedule of Amendments Update September 21 – April Gold and Jen Jenkins
  • Services to Schools Update including New Admissions Code – Joanne Evans
  • Education Update – Sandra Teacher, Education Consultant
  • Closing comments and prayer – April Gold


Diocesan Service Agreement – 2021-22

Thank you to the schools who have returned their DSA form.  If you have not already done so, to ensure that you are able to access the DBE’s comprehensive package of CPD and support, please make sure the form is returned to alison.watson@coventrydbe.org.


CPD Coming Up This Half Term

SIAMS Shorts: Spiritual Pathways – book here  Tuesday 21 September 16.00 to 17.00

Led by Jen Jenkins this session will focus on the varied ways to approach spiritual development and how to create the opportunities which will enable pupils to flourish spiritually.    

RE:Search Group – book here  Tuesday 5 October 16.30 to 17.30

This group looks at how educational research can positively impact RE teaching in our schools. Research will be focused on RE teaching or may be more broadly educational but applicable to RE teaching.  In this month’s session Kate Christopher, the author of the blog post we have been reading, ‘History for RE: Yes We Can’ will be attending.

What is Understanding Christianity – Taster Session – book here   Monday 11 October 19.00 to 20.00

This one-hour online taster session will give you an overview of ‘Understanding Christianity’. You will see the underpinning concepts, the ‘Big Story of the Bible’ and what led the Church of England to commission this rich resource to raise the level of religious literacy in the teaching of Christianity. This session would be suitable for governors, Senior Leaders, MAT leaders, TAs or any other classroom staff interested to know more.

SIAMS Shorts: Eucharist – book here  Tuesday 12 October 16.00-17.00

With Jen Jenkins and the Revd Craig Groocock, Diocesan Spiritual Adviser. This session will focus on subject knowledge around the theological significance of eucharist and providing a way of exploring it appropriately and invitationally within school through the theme of ‘remembrance’.

Pupil-Led Worship – Advent – register interest here  Monday 18 October Times tbc

The DBE is hoping to be able to facilitate a face-to-face afternoon session where you can bring a group of pupils to share ideas and have some fun. The session aims to give your pupils a toolkit of ideas and possible structures for leading worship for Advent in your school.  Times and venue to be advised once the event can be risk assessed.  Further details will be sent out soon


Are you new to Headship (first 2 years)?

CEFEL’s Fully DfE Funded ‘Additional Support Offer’ is Available and Applications are Open Now

Are you a headteacher within your first 2 years and have already taken the NPQH or are taking the new NPQH? CEFEL’s Additional Support Offer for new headteachers (ASO) could be right for you. Applications are open for the November cohort and they are fully funded by the DfE.  The programme builds upon the NPQH framework, allowing Headteachers to explore and apply leadership challenges in greater depth whilst putting their learning immediately into practice at school.

The package of support includes:

  • a personal 360 leadership profile at both the beginning and end to inform a personalised learning journey
  • access to extensive self- led learning content
  • participation in locally delivered peer support networks
  • the opportunity to work with an expert group coach throughout.

The deadline for the November 2021 cohort is 22nd October 2021.  To find out more go to: https://www.cefel.org.uk/aso/

And on 17th September 2021, Emily Norman and Matthew Welton will host a Find Out More webinar at 4:00pm to answer any questions you might have.  You can register your interest by following this link https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcqdOqgqzMoGNfd6GUO3MnL89ZOb4hu5D31

National Professional Qualifications

The Church of England (in partnership with the Catholic Education Service) will offer the full suite of NPQs to teachers and school leaders nationwide from September 2021. These include:

  • NPQ in Leading Teacher Development
  • NPQ in Leading Teaching
  • NPQ in Leading Behaviour and Culture
  • NPQ in Senior Leadership
  • NPQ in Headship
  • NPQ in Executive Leadership

Some have DfE funding attached so if you are interested, do see further information on the Foundation’s website: https://www.cefel.org.uk/npq/


Are You, or Any of Your SLT, New to a Church School?

Enjoy an afternoon tea (delivered to your school) with the DBE and take part in this online event which will bring you up to date with the essential and distinctive elements of life in a church school in Coventry Diocese. We will cover mission, vision and values, SIAMS, collective worship, requirements for RE and answer any of the questions you might have about preparing for success in your new role.

11 November 2021 (new date) 16.00 to 17.00 – online via Zoom.  Cost Free for newly appointed senior leaders in Coventry diocesan schools.  To book your place click here

For any additional info contact: alison.watson@coventrydbe.org


Collective Worship for Autumn Term

Jen Jenkins has produced a set of collective worship sessions for the autumn term on Creation.  With the twentieth anniversary of 9/11 also taking place soon, and the links between that tragic event and the current situation in Afghanistan, we have also put together a collective worship resources for you to use for both of these topics.  Click here for the sessions or look on the DBE website.  Please contact alison.watson@coventrydbe.org for the password.


Last Year’s CPD Recordings Available

DSA subscribers can have access to last year’s CPD recordings which include:

  • RE for Wellbeing
  • RE and Assessment
  • The Case for Beautiful in RE
  • Anti-Racist RE
  • Spiritual Development (two sessions)
  • Risk Taking and Spiritual Development (£20)
  • Teaching Judaism (£20)
  • Collective Worship Refresher Training
  • Parishes working with Schools

Do contact alison.watson@coventrydbe.org if you want a copy.


New Admissions Code 2021

The new School Admissions Code 2021 is now in effect and can be found here.  Action for own admission authorities: Please ensure that your amended/updated wording and definitions of IAPLAC for your 21/22 and 22/23 policies have been approved by governors/trustees; inform your relevant stakeholders and ensure the updated policies are on your website.  If you need any support or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact joanne.evans@coventrydb.org


Exciting Addition to Next Year’s CPD Programme for Early Career Teachers

Two Year Programme – Subject knowledge for RE

Offered in collaboration with our colleagues at Leicester Diocese, this online programme is essential for all new teachers, whether starting a teaching career in a CofE school or community school. The recent OFSTED RE research report and the ECT framework are clear on the essential nature of subject knowledge CPD. RE is often a subject that teachers feel less confident teaching and this 2-year rolling programme of CPD will improve both RE subject knowledge and confidence. There is also the opportunity to complete gap tasks for a short self-study course through Teach RE.  Led by Fiona Moss of RE Today and the fee is £40 per academic year.  To reserve a place for your new teachers, contact Alison.watson@coventrydbe.org  Online booking will be available soon.


The Good Childhood Report 2021

The Good Childhood Report has been published. You can see the key findings here.


God and the Big Bang CPD for the Autumn Term

The God and the Big Bang team have put together a series of one-hour CPD courses, which are delivered using Zoom. The courses are informative and interactive, equipping teachers to tackle tricky areas of the curriculum where science and faith collide.

  • Tuesday 28th September- Designed or doubtful? Exploring the spiritual, moral, social and cultural dimensions of secondary Biology
  • Wednesday 29th September- Created or coincidence? Exploring the spiritual, moral, social and cultural dimensions of secondary Physics
  • Thursday 30th September- Transformed or turbulent? Exploring the spiritual, moral, social and cultural dimensions of secondary Chemistry
  • Tuesday 5th October- Headteachers as Christian leaders in the area of science and faith
  • Monday 11th October- Lower Key Stage 2: Rocks and Fossils- How do billions of years and the days of Creation coincide?
  • Tuesday 12th October- Upper Key Stage 2: Evolution and Genesis- Sources of Knowledge for Creation
  • Tuesday 19th October- Upper Key Stage 2: Planets and Purpose- What is there to learn about God from the Solar System?
  • Wednesday 20th October- Governors: How do whole school communities engage with questions of science and faith?

Bookings are £50 per teacher.  All courses begin at 4pm and run for one hour.  For more and information see the website: https://gatbb.co.uk/teachertraining/  and to book contact: sarah.moring@durham.ac.uk

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