Diocesan schools trust continues to grow


PICTURED are business managers from 25 of the Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust schools. These included managers from Dr Radcliffe’s CE School in Islip and South Moreton Community School.

The photo was taken at a summer training day at Oxford’s Kassam Stadium. David Locke, the chief operating officer for ODST, said: “The school business managers and support staff at the schools are a talented group of individuals who are essential to the continued progress and sustainable development of our family of schools.” Since the training day Kidmore End CE School and Deddington CE School have joined ODST, taking the total number of schools in the trust to 27. Celebration ceremonies will take place at the schools that have recently joined the trust in September.

Educational partnership blessed by the Bishop of Oxford

The Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Revd Steven Croft blessed a new partnership between the Community of St Mary the Virgin (CSMV) at Wantage and the Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust (ODST). At a ceremony in CSMV’s St Mary Magdalene Chapel yesterday, representatives of the two organisations signed a commitment to co-operate in supporting education in the Diocese of Oxford.

From left, Alastair Hunter, Chair of Trustees at CSMV, Kathy Winrow, Chair of ODST, Bishop Steven and Sister Stella.

The covenant offers ODST an additional office, meeting and conference space at St Mary’s Convent in Wantage. The alliance is bringing back into use a house belonging to CSMV as refurbished flats for new teachers working with ODST. They will be available at a significantly low rent. This is part of the of the Community’s charitable aims of supporting the education of children. The Sisters of CSMV have made a significant contribution to education since the Community’s founding over 150 years ago. Bishop Steven, making his first visit to the Community will be present at the signing.

“The Sisters are delighted to be able to offer accommodation to ODST,” says Sister Stella, Sister in Charge of the Community. “Their presence and their work help underline the importance of high quality education for all in our society, something the Community has worked for throughout its long history.”

Speaking on behalf of ODST, Chair of Trustees Kathy Winrow said: “The housing for new teachers marks the start of an innovative partnership between ODST and St Mary’s Convent. As we work together, for the benefit of young people and staff in the Trust our hope is that we are able to support excellence in education.”

A new reception area forms part of the plans for the future of St Mary’s Convent. A planning application for this exciting development will be made later in the year.

This is the latest in a series of developments underlining the CSMV continuing commitment to Wantage. Last year the Sisters took the decision to stay at the Convent. The partnership with OSDT follows the recent announcement that later this year the Vale Academy Trust’s central staff team is to move into office space on the convent site from its current base at King Alfred’s Academy.


ODST now has 21 schools


At the beginning of the new year The Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust was delighted to welcome three more schools into the family. They are Datchet St Mary’s, Dr Souths (Islip) and Tackley.
The Trust has been continuing a time of growth and another six schools are scheduled to join the Trust in the coming months. The photo shows the Chair of Governors (Sally-Anne Jarvis) and

Headteacher( Nicola Green) with pupils from Datchet St Mary’s at their celebration service.

David Locke, ODST’s Chief Operating Officer, said “we are delighted at the continued growth of the Trust and that schools are seeing us a safe and caring family to join”.

Theresa May celebrates as Holyport CE Primary School joins ODST

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THE Rt Hon. Theresa May, the UK’s new Prime Minister, celebrated as Holyport CE Primary School, in Maidenhead, joined the Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust on June 17th. The occasion was the latest in a number of appearances Mrs May has made at churches and schools in the Diocese. The MP for Maidenhead took part in turf cutting at St Andrew’s, Sonning, where she worships. St Andrews is building a new oak framed church hall and office. She was also one of the dignitaries at the opening of the Tree House at White Waltham Church. The Tree House is a new building, for church activities and the community. Mrs May is one of the patrons of Project Rainbow – the scheme through which money for the Tree House was raised.

New Church led schools trust aims to work for excellence in education in Reading

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A PARTNERSHIP between an ‘outstanding’ Church school and its neighbour that had previously been judged by Ofsted as failing led to the formation of a new Multi Academy Trust.

When New Town Primary School in Reading was placed in special measures by Ofsted, the local authority asked for support from St John’s CE Primary School, which is nearby. Angharad Brackstone, the Headteacher of St John’s, became Executive Headteacher of both schools. She led a joint staff-team which has worked to see St John’s remain outstanding while New Town is now out of special measures and is continuing to improve. The leadership of New Town school was judged good at its recent inspection.

The success of the partnership has spearheaded the launch of the brand new Royal County of Berkshire Schools Trust. The new trust, with strong links to the Diocese of Oxford, (the Church of England for Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire) launches today.

It is based on the successful model of the Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust (ODST) which launched in 2012 and now boasts 18 schools. Like them, RCBST will help schools pool resources to provide the best possible education to pupils. It will also continue to secure some support services from Reading Borough Council and to draw on the expertise and experience at the Oxford Diocesan Board of Education which is responsible for more than 284 Church schools serving a total of 60,000 pupils.

Anne Davey, Diocesan Director of Education, said: “We were delighted to see the success of the joint working between these two schools in Reading. We hope this is the start of another successful Multi Academy Trust that will help us to offer an excellent, inclusive education to more children of all faiths and none.”

David Langshaw, Chair of Governors, said: “This is really good news for both schools as it allows us to continue working together to provide a great education for the children in our neighbourhood. Our partnership has shown that we work very well together and we are looking forward to continuing with this work.”

Angharad said: “Becoming part of RCBST is great news for our community. It will enable our schools to go from strength to strength allowing the partnership between New Town and St John’s to continue to develop and flourish.”




Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust continues to grow


THREE new schools have joined the Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust. Burford School was the first community school to convert to become a Diocesan Academy late last year.

The Batt CE School and St Mary’s CE Infant School, both in Witney, have also both recently signed up. The trust now has 16 schools.

A special assembly at Burford marked the start of the school’s life as a Diocesan Academy. Anne Davey, Director of Education for the Diocese, David Locke, Chief Operating Officer and Suzanne Lane, School Link Adviser, from ODST joined the celebration, as well as governors and parents. In a letter to the school, the Prime Minister and Witney MP David Cameron wrote: “Academies form an integral part of our education policy and it is fantastic to see the progress made by academies in my constituency.”

Key Stage One children sang a French song, Salut! Ça va?, with Key Stage Two ringing handbells to celebrate in traditional style, followed by the singing of Thank your Lucky Stars. To demonstrate the process of change, from old to new, Year 5 and 6 children read their own versions of Just So Stories.

At St Mary’s, Witney, children wrote blessings for their classrooms and Anne Davey presented the ODST plaque in a celebratory assembly. Head teacher, Sam King said: “I am delighted that St Mary’s has become part of the ODST family and I am looking forward to working with the trust to make St Mary’s the best it can be for its pupils present and future.”

ODST was set up in 2012 to offer a meaningful partnership where schools can share best practice and work in support of one another with

Children celebrate at St Mary’s, Witney as their school joins ODST. Photo: David Cousins.

Children celebrate at St Mary’s, Witney as their school joins ODST.
Photo: David Cousins.

Jenny Dyer, headteacher at Burford, and handyman Rod Blake, whose grandchild is a pupil, take pride in putting the ODST plaque up Photo: David Locke.

Jenny Dyer, headteacher at Burford, and handyman Rod Blake, whose grandchild is a pupil, take pride in putting the ODST plaque up Photo: David Locke.

the added benefit of the central resources provided by the Diocese.

Top marks for The Blake School

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A CHURCH of England Primary school that recently signed up to the Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust (ODST) has been classed as ‘Outstanding’ by national inspectors.Narniaforweb

The Blake Church of England Primary School in Witney was praised in the recent National Society Statutory Inspection of Anglican Methodist Schools report. Inspectors noted: “The school has productive links with a school in Nigeria and the multi-cultural Christ The Sower School in Milton Keynes. These links give pupils a personalised understanding of diversity and a genuine empathy.

“Governors are skilled at strategic direction exemplified by the careful way in which the Academy process was undertaken and the joining of the ODST to secure the school’s long term interests.”

They also noted the strong links between the school and St Mary’s, Cogges. They added: “The astute parish priest makes a commendable contribution to this church school pastorally and in governance. The school also makes good use of visitors such as the Prime Minister and the Bishop of Dorchester to enhance pupils’ appreciation of others and their place in the world.”

Right is the school’s version of Narnia as Year Five studies The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Photo: The Blake CE School.

Welcome to the Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust


THE two latest additions to the Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust (ODST) are North Leigh CE Primary School (right) and Bampton CE Primary School (below). Photos: David Cousins. 
NorthLeigh Bamptonforweb

God in the Life Of Kathy Winrow

Kathy Winrow during a trip to North Hinksey. Photo: Jo Duckles

Kathy Winrow during a trip to North Hinksey. Photo: Jo Duckles

Kathy Winrow has known her vocation since she first set up a Sunday school for youngsters at the local children’s home when she was just 14. Despite retiring as Headteacher of Ranelagh CE School in Bracknell, she is busier than ever making a difference in the lives of children and young people.

Kathy lives and worships in Berkshire but is a frequent visitor to Diocesan Church House, so we met round the corner for coffee at The Fishes pub in North Hinksey where she told me her story, writes Jo Duckles.

Originally from Barnsley, a mining town in South Yorkshire, Kathy credits her success to the people in her life who have made a difference to her. “I have a good life. My parents did everything they could to support me particularly through my education – the essential gateway for northern working class families in post- war Britain.”

She moved to London to study when she was 18, starting her teaching career four years later in Hounslow. She was there at the time of the Southall riots and enjoyed the challenge of new community schools, working in the borough for 18 years. Kathy says, “These multifaith schools were exciting and invigorating and provided a great start for my career.” Kathy became a deputy head at the age of just 32 – a real achievement for a woman at that time. She then moved to Hampshire as Education Adviser/ Inspector working on management development in 14 schools.

Always motivated by her faith and involved in Anglican churches, the move to Ranelagh three years later was very natural. She was the only woman who applied for the headship and, at interview, Governors were still talking about the new headmaster. Things were to change. She has proudly led the school through several outstanding Ofsted inspections as well as national initiatives including the transition to Academy status.

As a national leader in education, Kathy has supported several schools in the South East in their journey to become good. “I just have this passion for making sure that young people have the very best deal possible. Sadly I think we live in a society where teenagers are often put down. Some adults don’t see them as the wonderful individuals they are or realise all they can do,” says Kathy. After leaving Ranelagh last year Kathy continued with her work as Chair of the Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust (ODST) and Executive Head at the Aylesbury Vale Academy.

Kathy is just as proud of her hands-on teaching role as of her leadership and management. Whether teaching very able A-level students or youngsters with special needs, she has relished the challenge to enable them to learn.

“I remember teaching year seven geography and helping a girl with Down’s Syndrome to understand six figure grid- references. She is 19 now, at college and following her passion working with horses. I am still in contact with her,” says Kathy, telling just one of many satisfying anecdotes from a long teaching career. She proudly states that she is still in contact with many former students who have gone on to work in a range of professions.

While Ranelagh is recognised as an outstanding school, life there was not always easy, particularly when Kathy experienced four student deaths in four consecutive years. “Leading Ranelagh through that period was challenging but also affirming because the school came together and individuals supported each other. It was my faith that led me through that time.” Kathy also enjoyed seeing the school celebrate its 300th anniversary with a service at Christ Church Cathedral.

As she retired from Ranelagh, after 22 years as headteacher, the students persuaded the governors that an additional House was needed, due to the expansion of the school and that it should be named Winrow House. A sculpture ‘Seeds of Learning’ was also commissioned, incorporating words students used to describe Kathy. At the end of term concert, apologies were made to Carl Orff as the words to O Fortuna were changed in her honour! “These events were so important to me, especially as the ideas came from the students,” says Kathy.

“I had a real hang-up when I knew I was retiring from Ranelagh as I did not understand how I could put down a vocation. After talking to the then Archdeacon of Berkshire, Norman Russell. I realised I wasn’t putting down but just serving in a different way.”  She had already been part of the early planning for the Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust. “We knew there was a huge risk involved but that it was the right thing for the Diocese,” she says. “It is so important to have church school multi-academy trusts that are focused on providing quality education and are also rooted in Christian values.”

Kathy is also involved in the National Centre for Universities and Business, and amazingly finds time for hobbies, one of which is listening to inspiring talks and she regularly attends the Inspiring Leadership Conference. Kathy also enjoys a bit of amateur dramatics, and loves having Newbury’s Watermill Theatre on her doorstep. “It’s a busy lifestyle but it’s the lifestyle I have chosen,” she says, happily describing a myriad of roles she has at St George’s, Wash Common, where her husband, the Revd Terry Winrow is part of the ministry team.

She met Terry at a church youth club aged just 12. They went their separate ways, but eventually got together and have now been married for 42 years. Terry spent most of his life in business consultancy, before becoming an LLM and eventually going forward for ordination. Together they lead the youth work at St George’s—the secondary age ‘Justacross’ group meet regularly at Terry and Kathy’s home; they run the annual holiday club for over 100 local children, ably supported by a large team of helpers; and Kathy leads the Sunday Club for five to 11 year olds. She also leads the Vision Group on Nurture and Discipleship. The life and work of St Benedict resonates with her: “His teaching on Contemplative Action is still so relevant today—although I admit I can be more into action than contemplation.”

Full of energy, she remains committed to working for young people and believes Nelson Mandela got it right when he said “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

‘Rising above the ordinary’


STUDENTS from St Peter’s Church of England Middle School in Old Windsor have raised more than £1,175 for charities over the past six weeks. The school recently joined the Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust.

They ran a series of ‘Lent Projects’ in the run-up to Easter, whereby each of the school’s Houses organised activities to raise money for charities chosen by the students. These ranged from cake sales and penalty shoot outs to human fruit machines and throwing wet sponges at students.

Lancaster House raised £210 for Cancer Research UK. Charlotte, 13, said: “We chose this charity as some students have had relatives affected by cancer and were keen to help the charity find a cure.” Erin, 13, of Stuart House, said “We raised £184 for the Ebola Crisis Appeal. We felt it was such an important issue that was so far away and easy to think it could be ignored.” Tudor House raised £200 for Lyme Disease fundraisersResearch. Abigail, 10, said: “One of the student’s brothers suffers from this disease so it was really important to us to help him.” Berkshire Autistic Society benefited from £181 raised by the students of York House. In addition, the students got involved with Comic Relief and raised over £400, taking the total raised for charities by the students to over £1,175. Head Teacher Sharon Yardley said: “It was heartwarming to see that they were so keen to think of other people and embrace the Christian ethos of our school. They truly did live up to our school motto to ‘Rise above the Ordinary’.

Korky Paul and Winnie the Witch at St Christopher’s CE School


KORKY Paul entertained children in a special assembly held at St Christopher’s CE Primary School in Cowley, Oxford.

Korky Paul with Winnie the Witch and pupils cut the ribbon to officially open the new classroom.

Korky Paul with Winnie the Witch and pupils cut the ribbon to officially open the new classroom.

The children’s book illustrator told pupils a story and drew a picture of the Acting Deputy Headteacher Susie Davies who was dressed up as the character Winnie the Witch, before the ribbon was cut on a brand new building at the school. St Christopher’s is a member of the Oxford Diocesan Schools’ Trust (ODST), a not for profit multi-academy trust set up in July 2012 to provide a suitable vehicle for schools in the Oxford Diocese to come together in a multi-academy Trust.

New recruits for the Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust


By Jo Duckles

THREE more church schools have signed up to the Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust. St Luke’s CE Primary in Maidenhead, Burchetts Green CE Infant School and St Peter’s CE Middle School in Old Windsor, have all joined the Academy Trust.

ODST was set up in 2012 to offer a meaningful partnership where schools can share best practice and work in support of one another with the added benefit of the central resources provided by the diocese. The schools have marked joining the trust with special assemblies. The Revd Sally Lynch, of St Luke’s Church, Maidenhead, said: “It was fab. We had a collective worship assembly with Anne Davey and Liz Manson from the Diocesan Schools team who joined us.” Sally is heavily involved in the school which was led out of special measures by headteacher Amanda Hough. Amanda said: ““We opened our doors to 2015 as a new member of ODST. We are very excited about the opportunity to join this forward thinking group of professionals, as they evolve into a multi academy trust centred on encapsulating educational excellence born out of the spirit of togetherness and Christianity. “

Sharon Yardley, headteacher of St Peter’s, said: “We have chosen ODST because we will be part of a group of Christian schools committed to being supportive of each other to help raise standards in all our schools. As a Church of England school, we are using our Christian values to drive forward improvement and joining ODST will further strengthen us.” Delia Sheppard, headteacher at Burchett’s Green, said: “It’s good to be part of Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust (ODST). I feel confident that working together we will maintain our outstanding achievements. We look forward to learning from and supporting other schools in the trust.”

Children at Burchett's Green Primary School with the Rt Revd David Jennings, school staff and members of the ODST staff team.

Children at Burchett’s Green Primary School with the Rt Revd David Jennings, school staff and members of the ODST staff team.

A dedication service took place just before the Door went to press. Delia added: “The Academy dedication service (Picture right) has been the perfect way to mark this important milestone in the history of our school. The children were excited about meeting the retired Bishop David Jennings and worked hard to make the occasion one to remember.”

(28/01/2015 – from the February 2015 edition of the Door.)