Diocesan Board of Education

The Diocesan Board of Education is a statutory body governed by the Diocesan Board of Education Measure 1991 and the Bristol Diocesan Board of Education Measure 1997. Its purpose is to oversee and support church school education, including supporting the provision of RE for all pupils across the diocese.

It comprises:

  • The Bishop and her two senior staff nominations, in this case our suffragen Bishop and one Archdeacon
  • Laity from each archdeaconry elected by the Diocesan Synod
  • Clergy from each archdeaconry elected by the Diocesan Synod
  • Members co-opted by the Board with experience of church schools and/or other relevant experience

The Board also operates two sub-committees and an academies Company to progress specific functions of the Board, all of which are supported by Diocesan officers.

Additional DBE working groups are formed as necessary to carry out specific project work. 


Strategy Committee

Key responsibilities:

  1. Strategic plan of DBE
  2. Resourcing and budgets
  3. School organization, planning and policy, including academies planning in partnership with the Diocese of Bristol Academies Company
  4. School buildings and estates
  5. Educational/ moral/ theological insights
  6. Governance including foundation governor appointments
School Effectiveness Committee

Key Responsibilities:

  1. Support and challenge for Christian distinctiveness of schools
  2. Support and challenge for educational performance and governance of schools
  3. Section 48 inspections (SIAMS)
  4. Review of the Schools Risk register
Diocese of Bristol Academies Company (DoBAC)

DoBAC is a separate incorporated company limiting liability to the diocesan Board of Finance. In effect, it is a committee of DBE and works to the DBE remit.

Key Responsibilities:

  • To be a corporate Member of each Church-led Multi Academy Trust (MAT) and CE Single Academy Trust (SAT) and through these Members to hold schools to account for these responsibilities:
    • the Christian Distinctiveness and SIAMS outcomes of their CE schools.
    • key educational performance outcomes;
    • financial outcomes and 3 year forward projections;
    • legal compliance of their CE schools.
  • To oversee due diligence checks on proposed Church-led MATs or converting CE schools joining existing or Church-led MATs and agree or prohibit change.
  • To appoint Foundation Directors, Members and Local Board Foundation Governors to schools in Church-led MATs and CE SATs, within the terms of the Articles of each Company.
  • Ensure engagement with appointments of Church-led MAT Chief Executive Officers (CEO) and Principals in CE Academies and Members as outlined in the Articles of each Company and any Memorandum of Understanding/Diocesan guidance.


Members of the board

Bishop Lee Rayfield (Chair of the Board) Bishop Lee is a long-standing Christian who never expected to be ordained let alone consecrated as a Bishop. This was an even bigger shock to his wife Liz. He has three children aged 28-35, all launched. His background is in medical research and teaching in London University. He came to the Diocese in 2005 and has actively worked with the Education Team as Chair of the Board since 2013. 'Changes in successive government strategies have provided a heady mix of challenge and opportunity for our work with church schools. Even more opportunities ahead ….'

Howard Jameson (Vice Chair of the Board) Howard is Priest in Charge of St Chads Patchway. Before moving to Bristol Diocese he was the chair of the Children and Youth Committee within the Board of Education in Salisbury Diocese, and was a member of the Standing Committee. A significant area of his parish ministry is to be present in all the local schools; church and community, primary and secondary. An area like Patchway, with a history of low educational outcomes and poor indicators of well-being, has some specific demands for the Schools and the communities around them. He is inspired by being part of the Church of Englands long tradition of providing education for all in the local community, and supporting schools as they seek to be distinctively Christian - knowing how complex this can feel on the ground.

Ven Neil Warwick (Archdeacon of Bristol) Prior to ordination Neil worked in business and the charity sector mostly on bringing positive change to organisations and their strategies.Since ordination he's been a parish priest, always passionate about working with local schools and interestingly always working with local authority maintained schools. Neils been a school governor. Further, Neil was for ten years the trustee and a practitioner for an innovative charity REinspired that enlivens the RE curriculum by connecting local schools and churches. Now as Archdeacon, Neils excited and committed about our schools being good news for the communities they serve and increasing the positive ways that our churches can help make that happen.

Adam Beaumont Adam is a Team Vicar in the Corsham and Lacock Team of Churches, and Deanery Missioner for Schools, Children, and Families in the Chippenham Deanery, which includes being Chaplain to two FE college campuses. Before training for ordination, he was a  Head of Year and Science teacher at a large secondary school just outside Bristol, and he has held various roles within school governance but he is now Chair of Governors and a Foundation Governor at his local CE primary school. His long and varied association with the education system at a number of levels brings experience and insight to the Board of Education. He has a passion to see all children and young people flourish, and he sees no better way to encourage that than by helping them to meet the person of Jesus as part of an outstanding education. In sitting on the DBE he hopes that together they can facilitate schools in the Diocese to provide this experience for all the young people they serve.

Celia Morgan Celia is currently a director of DoBAC, member of DBE and Vice Chair of Governors at Easton Primary CE Academy. She has, for 30 years, been part of the church family at Redland Parish Church where she is the Chair of Redland Education Centre Management team and leads childrens Sunday groups. Having a primary teaching and leadership background (London, Oxford, South Gloucestershire) she knows how important Christian distinctiveness is in education and wants to support church school education and outstanding RE teaching. She is married with two sons and two grandchildren and now tutors pupils at home.

Christine Dursley Christine retired two years ago, having worked in a variety of both church and community primary schools in Bristol and the surrounding areas. Her final post gave her the challenging, but exciting privilege as Headteacher of opening a new, two form entry primary school. An accredited Local Leader of Education, she was also Chair of her local cluster of schools and a member of South Gloucestershires Headteacher Executive Board. As a committed Christian, Christine has always played an active part in the life of the local and wider church. She is a member of the DBE, a Director of DBAT and has recently been appointed to Bishops Council, with a specific brief for Education. Christine is also part way through her training to become an LLM. She is passionate about education and believes that schools should be places where all children can flourish, growing and learning happily and in safety together.

Elizabeth Gilpin Elisabeth Gilpin is Headteacher at St Mary Redcliffe and Temple C of E VA secondary school in central Bristol. It serves the whole of the city of Bristol and beyond. During her time in leadership at the school it has twice been judged outstanding by OFSTED and three times judged outstanding in the Statutory Inspection of Anglican Methodist and Ecumenical schools process. She has also been a Headteacher in Oxford and a member of leadership teams in two other schools in West Sussex. She received a Farmington Fellowship at Harris Manchester College Oxford whilst supporting Oxfordshire County Council in a piece of research around raising student achievement. She supported the Diocese of Bristol in bidding for and supporting the establishment of the new Deanery secondary school in Swindon. She is chair of the Anglican Academy and Secondary school heads. She is a passionate advocate of church school education that is both distinctive and inclusive and helps young people be Fully Alive in an environment inspired by God's love.

Fiona Dorman Having trained as a secondary English teacher in 1994, Fiona has held school posts in London, Leeds and Bristol with responsibilities ranging from i/c PSHE, head of English and senior lead teacher for a whole school improvement programme. However, she has also had periods of time outside the classroom doing non-school education jobs, the main one with the London Challenge working on school leadership, a job which gave her interesting insight into education policy. She is currently one of the education officers at Bristol Cathedral and she is also employed by Bristol Cathedral Choir School to work with the chaplaincy particularly on their SIAMS policy and practice. This means she has had the privilege of working closely with the Diocese Education Team. In addition to this she works freelance as a consultant with school senior leadership teams all over the SW.
Fiona is passionate about education.

Jill Yeomans Jill has been a member of the DBE for the last 8 years. She has been a Foundation Governor at St Barnabas CEVC Primary School and Easton Primary Academy. She is a Director of DBAT. She is a passionate believer in the importance of education and every childs right to a good education. She thinks that this means something broader than getting good results. A good education enables children to contribute to the society of which they are a part and become citizens who strive for a world where justice is for all and bigotry is not tolerated. Her mantra comes from Micah 6:8 To love mercy, seek justice and walk humbly with you my God. Although Old Testament, she believes that this encapsulates the Christian message. Jill hopes that in everything that she does that she can reflect and be informed by this and Matthew 25:35-40 when I was sick .... and do what God would have her do.

Julia Chapman Julia is passionate about the power of education and its ability to transform lives: even in a turbulent climate of change and challenges, education still opens doors. She has worked in education for twenty five years as a teacher, leader, inspector for Ofsted, governor and Chair of Governors and, combined with being a parent of four children at primary and secondary school, she has a wealth of knowledge and experience to bring to the Diocesan Board of Education which she has been honoured to be a member of for the last three years.

Karuna Duzniak Karuna Duzniak is an Assistant Headteacher at St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School. She leads worship across the school and is also responsible for communication and links with the community. She has been in education for the last 11 years and is a Chemistry teacher. She worships at Cairns Road Baptist Church with her husband and two young children. When she is not at work, she loves spending time with her family. In the small amounts of spare time that she has left, she enjoys seeing friends and reading. Karuna is happiest when she is in her pyjamas at the end of long day, reading bedtime stories to her son.

Lucille Charles Lucille has recently retired as the Headteacher of St Bonaventures Catholic Primary School. She started her teaching career in Yorkshire over 40 years ago and worked in Leicester before moving to Bristol more than 25 years ago. During her time as a teacher she has taught in middle, infant, junior and primary schools whilst raising her family. During her career she has been the deputy head of Easton CE VA Junior School and headteacher of St Matthias and Dr Bells Junior School. She joined her present school, over 18 years ago. She has always placed learning, achievement and pupils wellbeing at the heart of her leadership and feels incredibly lucky and privileged to have contributed to the formation of pupils in Bristol. Her personal goal has been to ensure that every child who joins her school has a positive experience and by the time they leave at 11 they have received a broad and balanced curriculum, have a concern for others, and are confident and inspired to achieve more.

Malcolm Strange Malcolm is currently the Rector of the Fromeside Benefice of Churches. Within the benefice are three Church of England Schools and three Local Authority Schools including the Winterbourne Academy, all of which he is actively involved with. Malcolm joined Fromeside having been Assistant Principal of St Bedes Catholic College, Lawrence Weston where he was Head of Sixth Form. Malcolm has been ordained for 34 years. In his past ministry he has served on the Board of Education of both Newcastle and Salisbury Diocese, been Chair of Governors of two church schools, been a part time tutor at Westminster College Oxford, Area Youth Advisor, School Chaplain and a teacher of RE for 16 years. He is currently a member of South Glos SACRE and has been invited to be the Anglican representative on the South Glos Educational Forum. He is totally committed to developing the relationship between the local church and all the schools it serves.

Mark Solomon Mark has been a teacher and then Headteacher for nineteen years, both in Wiltshire and Somerset. He was Headteacher of a Church of England primary school in Somerset, in the Bath and Wells Diocese and went on to lead the school into a federation with a larger Foundation school.Since that time, he has returned to Wiltshire where he is now the Headteacher of Colerne C of E Primary School. Mark feels that being a Headteacher of a Church of England Primary School is a genuine joy and privilege. He tries to ensure that the values of Christianity shine through in all aspects of school life; so that every child who leaves the school has the well rounded ethos that we aspire for all children. 

Patrick Davies Following a degree in English Literature with Creative Writing, Patrick worked as a Youth Worker and Teaching Assistant before training as a teacher. Patricks training and first teaching post was in a school for children with additional needs, teaching upper KS2. Here Patrick gained experience of working with children with speech and language difficulties, learning difficulties, and autism, as well as a variety of other complex needs. After 5 years, Patrick moved to teach Year 2, in a large Christian primary school, where the educational approach was very creative and topic based. Patrick was subject coordinator for Religious Education (during which time the school received an Outstanding SIAMs inspection report) and Music. Patrick is now studying at Trinity College, in his third year of training for Ordained Ministry.

Peter Robottom Peter, a chartered planner, is now retired from roles with the Planning Inspectorate which brought him to Bristol. He is an LLM at St Mary Magdalene Stoke Bishop and also a Lay Canon Emeritus of Bristol Cathedral. He was asked to join the DBE some years ago to use his town planning expertise in property related matters for existing schools and those DBE were bidding for, to maintain or increase the proportion of faith schools across the Diocese, secondary as well as primary. To use this expertise he has been a member of the Standing Committee as well as the main Board. With grandchildren of school age, he is passionate about maintaining the Christian distinctiveness of our schools as well as their educational excellence.

Rachael Swonnell Rachael is currently a part-time PPA teacher, working across the primary phase in a Catholic primary school in South Gloucestershire. Faith is important in the Catholic curriculum. In her current school, an emphasis is put not only into RE teaching and learning; collective worship and regular prayer but also the promotion of Christian values to underpin the ethos; the impact that the application of faith can make in communities as well as the wider world and the development of child-chaplains to help lead the schools spiritual welfare. This is in a school where only half of the intake are Catholic. Previously, Rachael has taught in non-faith schools in South Glos and Bristol. She has been a member of Redland Parish church since 1992 and has been involved with numerous initiatives which reach out to children and their families including Sunday groups, childrens holiday club, toddlers, pre-school and parenting classes.

Richard Harris Richard is a Licensed Lay Minister at St James Church, Bristol, married to Sian, father of two teenage boys and Professor of Social Geography at the University of Bristol, where his research includes the geographies of education: social and ethnic segregation between schools and school types; widening participation and transitions into Higher Education; and the effects of school markets and choices. His new book, Ethnic Segregation between schools: is it increasing or decreasing in England? is due to be published later in the year. He has also been actively involved in providing support for students with illnesses and other extenuating circumstances, and has witnessed, first hand, the rise in mental health diagnoses, including anxiety and depression, amongst students. Richard believes in a fully inclusive educational system and the potential for Faith-linked schools to help achieve this through a culture of service and care for their own and the wider community.

Sally Sibley Sally is married with 4 grown up children and six grandchildren who are all at different stages of their development and education. She has a degree in Early Childhood Studies and is familiar with education policies and procedures having served as a school governor in both primary and secondary settings. She has worked for fifteen years as an Education Welfare Officer and for the last eight years has been attached to the Parish of Mangotsfield linking schools, church and community together. Her main focus has been in encouraging the growth of a Christian Community at the heart of the new housing area of Lyde Green. She believes that all children and young people deserve access to an education that helps them maximise their full potential in becoming the person that God created them to be and that Christian Values help provide the ethos to achieve this.

Teresa Taylor From becoming a Sunday School teacher in her youth, training as a Health Educator in her first profession, seeing a family through all levels of education into their first careers, one of whom is herself an RE teacher, and twenty years as a school governor in a variety of schools, Teresa continues to have a keen interest in education generally and more specifically within the church school setting. As a Vicar, she frequently engages with the schools in her parish and she has an excellent relationship with her church school. She is particularly interested in the impact of health, especially mental health, on childrens education and also the interface of church and school.

Tom Morgan Tom is a Trinity College Ordinand, based full time in context at Pattern Church in Swindon where he will become Curate in 2020. Tom taught in a large comprehensive School in West Wiltshire for 12 years, part of Acorn Education Trust. He held a number of pastoral leadership roles during that period including Head of House, overseeing alternative provision and primary induction as well as a range of safeguarding roles. He served on the local governance board of a primary school and now serves as a Foundation Member of the Acorn Board. Prior to moving to Swindon, Tom was involved with youth outreach in semi-rural North East Somerset over many years and was also part of the Movement Worship Nights team running youth worship events across rural areas. From September 2019 Tom will be spending a day a week in a local secondary school.