One hundred church school governors attended the Diocesan Education Team’s inaugural Governors’ Conference on Saturday 30th March at Stanbrook Abbey. Throughout the day, delegates were invited to explore the theme of Vision into Action with speakers from the Church of England, Ofsted and Anthony Collins’ Solicitors.

Margaret James, Diocesan Director of Education, welcomed delegates to the conference before introducing the first session, Leading from the Centre, led by Chris Whittington from Anthony Collins’ Solicitors. During his session, Chris explored how the virtue of humility creates a great leader, before introducing a short time of meditation.

James McNeillie, Ofsted, led the second session, titled Outstanding Governance under the new Ofsted framework. He presented features of the new inspection framework, in addition to exploring the importance of quality governance, self-evaluation and safeguarding. Following this, all three speakers took part in a Question & Answer session, along with members of the Diocesan Education Team.

Bringing the Vision Alive, Governors' Conference March 2019

After time for networking over lunch, Andy Wolfe, Deputy Chief Education Officer for the Church of England, maintained the vibrant mood during his afternoon session titled Bringing the Vision Alive. With Andy, governors unpicked and reflected on the Church of England’s Vision for Education, Deeply Christian, Serving the Common Good.

The conference closed with worship led by Bishop John, during which governors were invited to the altar for anointing and to receive a holding cross.

Bishop John said, “It is so inspiring to know the commitment that school governors throughout the diocese give to this hugely important and responsible work. I’m enormously grateful to them and I give thanks to them, not only for being here today, but also for all that they do.”

Watch the video on the following link to hear more about the day from our delegates, speakers and staff.

For more information about becoming a Foundation (Church) governor, please contact