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Training and Events

Our courses – and we run nearly forty every year in addition to monthly drop-in sessions at the Discovery Centre – focus around those aspects of education that are distinctive within a Church school setting.

None of them costs more than £100 per person (for subscribing Church schools) and they are arranged at convenient locations in every area of the diocese.

Bookings are made through CPD Online (Schools' Choice) for most of our courses or you can contact Jacqui Studd.

A highlight of the course calendar is the Annual Church School Leaders' Conference in November (please see below). 

Courses 2018-2019

For outline details of courses planned so far for this academic year, please click here.  Most of our courses for this term are on CPD Online and links to book on the courses are provided (see link above).  Our twilight courses can be booked through Jacqui Studd, tel:01473 298570; also contact Jacqui with any queries.

Upcoming courses

Please click on the course title for further details including cost :

Small Schools - Monday 3 December, 4.00 - 5.30pm, Coddenham Village Hall
A twilight session for small church school Headteachers and governors. Key Suffolk County Council colleagues will also be attending.  The aim of the session is to support small schools. The Church of England has published a report on rural schools and the Diocesan Board of Education has published its own small schools strategy, details of both of which are available on the Diocesan website: http://www.cofesuffolk.org/welcome/mission-school. There is no cost. Tea and coffee will be available.  To book, please contact Jacqui Studd, tel: 01473 298570.

Collective Worship Extra: New Songs for CW - Thursday 6 December, 9.30 – 12.30, St Nicholas Centre, Ipswich 
An opportunity to engage with some of the newer material on the market for Collective Worship in schools.

SIAMS: Is your Collective Worship ready? - Thursday 6 December 1.30 – 4.30, St Nicholas Centre, Ipswich
An opportunity to review your Collective Worship in the light of the new SIAMS framework for church schools.

NQT REWednesday 16 January 2019, St Nicholas Centre, Ipswich 
This is an interactive and highly informative course which addresses the needs of NQTs. It will give them confidence and clear guidance on teaching this subject, including an introduction to practical material they can use in school. It will help them relate to a subject which plays a vital role in understanding the nature of society.


Diocesan Service of Celebration for Church Schools 

Hundreds of pupils and parents filled the cathedral on Sunday 7 October for the annual service of celebration of church schools. The Dean welcomed all the schools and Bishop Mike, Helen Woodroffe and Helen Matter each led parts of the service. The theme this year was one of Jesus’ sayings in John’s gospel: “I am the gate”. Revd Stephne van der Toorn and her guide dog Coco made this a memorable occasion as she described- and showed us- how Coco helped her to find her way. Pupils from Great Barton Primary Academy danced to the Lord of the Dance and pupils from Great Whelnetham CEVCP and other schools sang the Lord’s Prayer. These annual services are always a joyful occasion, where we give thanks for the work of church schools.

Next year's cathedral service will be on Sunday 6 October 2019 at 5.30pm. For more information about this event, please contact Jacqui Studd.

Annual Church School Leaders' Conference 2018

The purpose of the conference is to resource and equip Headteachers, deputy heads and governors for their crucial role in the diocese. One place is offered at half-price to schools that contribute to our subscription scheme - others from the same school are welcome at the normal fee. 

Our annual church school leaders’ conference was held on Wednesday 7 November at the St Nicholas Centre in Ipswich. About 70 delegates attended, most of whom are Heads, Deputies or foundation governors in church schools across Suffolk. Bishop Mike gave an inspirational keynote address on leadership and Katie Staples, Schools Adviser in Bristol Diocese led an interactive session on Valuing All God’s Children. Katie wrote this national guidance for church schools on tackling bullying. Year 6 pupils from St Marys’ CofE Primary in Hadleigh led an act of collective worship after lunch. Afternoon sessions tackled bereavement and developing links between church and school and the day ended with Helen Matter looking at how pupils can be courageous advocates of change and social justice.

Jane Sheat, Diocesan Director of Education writes:  “It is always a joy to welcome heads and governors to our annual conference. We aim to provide resources and support for schools which helps them to deliver the Church of England’s vision for education.”

The programme and presentations are available:

  • For a programme of the day please click here
  • For The Rt Revd Dr Mike Harrison's presentation on Leadership with Dignity please click here.
  • For Katy Staples presentation on Valuing All God's Children please click here.
  • For Helen Matter's presentation on Courageous Advocacy, please click here.

Next year's conference will take place on Wednesday 6 November 2019 - more on this conference will follow in due course.

Previous Conferences

Thursday 2 November 2017

 60 people attended our conference at the St Nicholas Centre on 2 November last year.

 During the morning, Stephen Fischbacher from Fischy Music introduced us to a number of songs aimed at helping children cope with
 cyber-bullying, self-esteem and anxiety, all issues which schools are dealing with.

 Andy Wolfe then introduced a range of resources produced by the Church of England’s Foundation for Educational Leadership. These will help   schools to think through leadership, pedagogy and theology and can be used on INSET days, at staff and governors’ meetings. They prompt   deep discussion about the CofE’s vision of education- Deeply Christian, Serving the Common Good - please click here for further details. 

Feedback from the Conference was very positive:

Good to have time away from school to consider the vision and purpose of the school 

A fabulous day 

The day was very enlightening

Lots of ideas that will have a positive impact back in school

Thank you, super relevant CPD as usual

Great to have time to network and meet others from the schools in the Diocese

Wednesday 9 November 2016

This was a hugely successful church school leaders’ conference. Heads and governors from schools across Suffolk gathered at the St Nicholas Centre in Ipswich. Last year Phyllida Hancock from the company Contender Charlie drew out lessons in leadership from Shakespeare’s Henry V. 

Over 70 attended four workshops in the morning and pupils from St Margaret’s CEVAP in Ipswich led an act of collective worship after lunch. In the afternoon schools heard from several different presenters. Helen Matter outlined the national Church of England’s vision for education, then Jane Sheat updated schools on academies (see slides here) and finally three Headteachers, Andrew Frolish, Lorna Rourke and April Grimes described their work on school effectiveness. Feedback includes the following comments:

Inspirational and empowering

An excellent inspiring day

I really enjoyed the collective worship led by children

Probably the most inspirational course that I have attended

Stunningly inspirational

Inspiring and relevant

Highly inspiring and accessible

Very informative and helpful

It was all excellent

An excellent inspiring day

10 November 2015

The Right Revd Martin Seeley gave the keynote address on Leadership in Challenging Times. He spoke about vision, determination and collaboration. Bishop Martin recommended two books which he had found helpful: Ron Heifetz’s Adaptive Leadership and Edwin Friedman’s A Failure of Nerve.

Jim Davis, MBE, Head of Community Participation at the Children’s Society then spoke about the impact of poverty. Drawing on a wealth of experience of listening to children and young people from across the country, Jim spoke of the recent findings of the Children’s Society report “At what cost? Exposing the impact of poverty on school life”.

In the afternoon, Helen Matter spoke about the new resources available for teachers on Christianity in RE. Jane Sheat updated Headteachers and governors on the Diocesan Multi Academy Trust. 

Three Headteachers gave us impressive examples of best practice from their schools: Sue Todd from St Matthew’s CEVAP in Ipswich, Tamsin Little from Thorndon CEVCP and Cheryl Wass from Cavendish CEVCP. 

From the evaluations, it was another very enjoyable and useful conference.

The day ended with a presentation from Russell Stables from Parish Buying. This is the Church of England’s national procurement service, which helps schools, cathedrals, churches, and diocesan offices to make savings. They focus on IT hardware, telecoms and energy.