Our vision and approach


The Church of England Vision for Education clearly articulates the church's involvement in education as we all seek to meet the challenges and opportunities which have arisen over the past few years. This vision embraces the spiritual, physical, intellectual, emotional, moral and social development of children and young people. It offers a vision of human flourishing for all, one that embraces excellence and academic rigour whilst setting them within this wider framework. The vision is worked out theologically and educationally through four key themes:

  • Wisdom, Knowledge and Skills
  • Hope and Aspiration
  • Community and Living Well Together
  • Dignity and Respect

A range of services, activities, resources, courses, advice and guidance is offered to our diverse range of schools to support these four key themes. 

The education team is staffed by a small but experienced staff group with a vast skill set and knowledge base. No question is too large or too small and we strive to work in partnership with those we serve, listening to needs and responding appropriately.

The team seeks to support in these main areas:

  • School Effectiveness: leadership, vision, values, pedagogy, impact, well-being and pastoral support
  • School Organisation: governance, buildings, partnerships including academies, legal and admissions
  • Church School Links: partnership awards, mentoring; parish school relationships
  • Youth and Children's Ministry: children and youth opportunities, organised through the Parish and External Relations Team

We are very proud of the quality of our schools and education related activities,continually striving to see that all of our church schools are acknowledged as 'Good' or better by Ofsted and through SIAMS; that all schools offer and signpost to regular, distinctly Christian activities and our parish-school networks, ecumenical partnering and chaplaincy are strong and sustainable.

One million pupils are freely educated in a Church of England school every day. The Church of Englands purpose in its schools is providing a distinctive and effective education that reflects God's love for humanity.

At the start of the 19th-century in Britain, it was almost exclusively children from privileged and wealthy families who enjoyed the opportunity of a good education. In the belief that all children deserved the right to acquire basic literacy, numeracy and work skills, the Church of England began to establish schools in as many of its parishes as possible. 

Today, over 200 years later, church schools are still providing education that is inclusive and open to all. The Church of England is the largest provider of schools in England with over 4,800 Church of England primary and secondary schools and academies. Within the Diocese of Bristol, we are proud of our 71 Church of England schools and academies, including two Anglican/Methodist primary schools. This represents over 15,000 children, young people and the adults who care for them, who come into contact with our team and the diocese. Every church school, therefore, will have the support of the clergy, foundation governors and those in their local parish who will work in partnership with the headteacher and staff to develop and promote the schools Christian foundation.

Without seeking to proselytize, Church of England schools make no apology for offering a spiritual and moral basis for the education they provide. A great church school is only great if its education offer enables strong academic progress within the aim for wider human flourishing. Each school will have a distinctively Christian vision and a set of Christian values which inform and shape the curriculum, all school policy and practice, as well as the work of the leadership team.