A message from the former Prime Minister to children and young people

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The former Prime Minister, Theresa May MP, shares a message with children in the diocese about the importance of writing to their MP about climate change.

Space Makers: the contemplative toolkit for schools


We’ve just launched Space Makers, our contemplative toolkit for schools and Sunday groups. Space Makers is founded on ancient pathways and practices of meditation and prayer that have resourced, benefitted and healed Christians for generations.

Foundation Governor Recruitment


The Oxford Diocesan Board of Education is seeking people with a variety of skills and from all sections of society to become Foundation Governors.

ODBE schools ‘twin’ with schools in South India to help tackle the climate crisis

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The Oxford Diocesan Board of Education (ODBE) launches a new initiative, The School Twinning Programme, in partnership with the United Society for Partners in the Gospel (USPG) and the Church of South India, in response to the climate emergency.

Message of thanks to our schools


As 2020 draws to a close and we begin to reflect on the year gone by, Bishop Alan today thanked headteachers, staff and governors for their unswerving dedication and commitment.

St John the Evangelist CE School celebrates ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted rating


Celebrations were in order at St John the Evangelist CE School in Carterton as it was rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted.

Inspectors praised the strong leadership of the school. “Leaders, staff and governors want the best for all pupils. Leaders are unyielding in their pursuit of excellence in all areas. All pupils leave fully prepared for their future learning.”

Burford Primary School


A statement from Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust (ODST) and the Diocese of Oxford:


Earlier this year the parents of two children at Burford Primary School sought a Judicial Review of the arrangements for children withdrawn from weekly collective worship. The claimants, who were backed by Humanists UK, have now withdrawn their application for Judicial Review. Read more

Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust praised by Ofsted


Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust (ODST), which comprises 33 schools in Oxfordshire and Berkshire, has been recognised for its strong values, leadership and outcomes for children, after being selected as the first multi-academy trust (MAT) to undergo Ofsted’s newly-introduced Summary Evaluation.

Anne Davey and Ian Elkington. Photo: Jennifer Payne

Ofsted inspectors visited ODST between 8-11 January 2019 to conduct the whole-trust review, which included meeting with central staff and trustees, visiting schools and speaking to many headteachers and governors. Five trust schools were also inspected in the six months prior to the review, with positive reports.

A letter to ODST, published by Ofsted on 6 March, states: “The trust’s ‘common vision for the common good’ permeates all aspects of its work’, and recognises its ‘commitment to preserving schools’ individual characters’. It highlights the ‘empowerment’ felt by headteachers and governors, who describe ODST as ‘a listening trust’ and value the level of responsibility and freedom they have, for example, to ‘design a curriculum suited to the needs of their pupils.”

The report notes that: “leadership and teaching are effective” and strengths in the early years, phonics and key stage 1 were identified in school inspections. Inspectors also highlighted the steady increase in pupil attainment at key stage 2. Ofsted also found that:

  • Children in ODST schools are kept safe through a ‘strong culture of safeguarding’.
  • Trustees have ‘effective oversight of finance, steering the trust skilfully through a challenging economic climate.
  • Communication at all levels is a strength of the Trust’, and collaboration between schools, particularly within the five local hubs, is growing.

ODST Chief Executive Anne Davey and her team were praised for displaying “high levels of professionalism balanced with warmth, care and respect”. She said:”I am delighted Ofsted has recognised the impact that our focus on people has had on outcomes for the children in our care. This letter illustrates how our approach is highly valued by schools and communities. We’ve welcomed this chance to showcase our trust, having already dedicated 2018-19 to consolidating the way we work before taking on any more schools. We are already developing our practice to ensure all children make the best possible progress from their starting points, along the lines that Ofsted recommends.”

Schools expert Tony appointed as our new Director of Education


An experienced headteacher who has worked both nationally and internationally successfully turning around several schools has been appointed as the new Diocesan Director of Education.

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Even more Church schools celebrate ‘Outstanding’ success


ANOTHER 28 of our Church schools have been awarded special plaques to celebrate being classified as Outstanding by SIAMS. Read more

Caring for our Church schools


AS she enjoys her last few months as Diocesan Director of Education, Fiona Craig tells Jo Duckles about the exciting challenges and opportunities that will face her successor. Read more

Budding legal eagles from Berkshire become national champions

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YOUNGSTERS from a Church school in Berkshire have been named as the national champions in this year’s Mock Trial Competition.