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Bulletin - 20-02-23

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 5:16

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

I hope you had a restful half term break and feel refreshed for the next half term through to Easter.

Over the past week, I have been fortunate to go on some long walks around the countryside near to where I live. It was lovely to see new plant life making an appearance – the snowdrops on the grass verges, the blossom on trees and the daffodil stems growing taller on the river bank. 

As we approach Spring – the season of new life – we have the chance to think about new opportunities and experiences we could encounter. Certainly in education, this is the term when we see quite a lot of movement in school leadership. I mentioned at the recent headteacher briefing that there are number of headteacher recruitments underway. This is because some of our current leaders have decided to explore new things in their lives, may that be retirement with new grandchildren, new leadership positions or totally new adventures outside of education.

The headship vacancies which occur have a ripple effect throughout the school communities. It prompts leaders at all levels to think about new possibilities. For example, it may lead governors to review the leadership model in school, it may lead middle leaders to apply for senior leader positions, it may encourage class teachers to apply for their first leadership position. It can be a very exciting and reinvigorating time for leaders. We must also remember though that leadership changes may be an unsettling time for others – there is the fear of the unknown.

However, in church school education, we may take comfort that Jesus provides us with a model of leadership that all church school leaders can use as a guide. That is the model of servant leadership.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others (Philippians 2: 3-4)

Jesus' heart was a servant heart (Philippians 2:5-11) from which his behaviour flowed. This heart led him to act for the benefit and growth of others. This he demonstrated when he confronted the disciples through the visual parable of the foot washing. He challenged the disciples to follow his example (John 13:12-17), a challenge for leaders that echoes down through the centuries to us today.

The church school leaders I know and respect have a Christ-like servant heart – they are not serving themselves with the benefits of position, power and status. Instead, they are humble, serving those whom they lead and enabling others to be aspirational and achieve their full potential.

16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them (John 13:16-17)

Being a leader in school is challenging but it is also very rewarding, especially when we see what a difference we can make to people’s lives. An important task we have is to grow our new generation of church school leaders – ones that may also lead with a servant heart.

We need to provide aspiring leaders with a vast range of opportunities where they:

Focus on the needs of others; enable others to realise their full potential; take responsibility for effective communication; develop collaborative partnerships; nurture the character of individuals; provide a positive role model; inspire a shared vision; encourage others to support and challenge positively and celebrate the achievements of others.

The contexts in which we provide such experiences to aspiring leaders may include leadership training, secondments and school and community-based projects.

A focussed effort of providing leadership experiences will help us secure our next generation of leaders within a servant leadership model we so desire in our church school family. For details of church leadership training, please visit the diocesan website

The diocesan education team is available to support church school leaders at all levels including pupil leaders in collective worship councils, subject leaders for RE, middle leaders such as SENCOs, senior leaders and governors. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

I hope you have a wonderful term.

Best wishes

Paul Thompson

Diocesan Director of Education


Dear Father,

I pray for all leaders of Your people.
I pray that they will not lead selfishly, for personal ambition or vain conceit.
I pray that You help leaders to realize
that leading is really a task that requires them to serve.
So, Father, raise up servant leaders, in Jesus’ name.

Help them to work in humility.
Make them selfless vessels of You, in Your image.
Remove any selfish desires. Amen

(Philippians 2:3)

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