Dear colleagues
Welcome back from what we hope has been a refreshing half term break, and that you have managed to get some space to pause and rest in the midst of what will continue to be such a challenging term. I’m writing to you from my home in Nottingham, which as you know has moved into the highest level of Tier 3 restrictions in the past few days. As we all head towards a period of national lockdown, we continue to pray that you can find wisdom and hope in the way that you are leading, and that you are able to put your vision into practice as leaders together.
In this week’s issue, we are looking at a couple of aspects of leadership, firstly the opportunity to highlight ‘Growing Faith’ with the podcast with Howard Worsley. Howard is Vice Principal at Trinity College Bristol, and has an amazing background in education and theology, having been DDE in Southwell & Nottingham and London Dioceses before moving into theological education. As part of our national ‘Growing Faith’ work (which seeks to develop the intersection between Schools, Churches and Households) we are working with a range of theological colleges to further embed training that places children and young people at the heart of theological education. It was a great conversation, about a great book that Howard has recently published – details below.
You might also like to check out range of resources that we’ve published called #faithathome – which are all at the Faith at Home webpage – there are so many resources now for primary and secondary school leaders – films, collective worship activities, PDF resources for tutor programmes – so do visit that page to find out more.
Our leadership practice this week is ‘Enabling Flourishing’ – and there could not be a more important time to focus on what it means to flourish together. So often we can reduce flourishing to an individual pursuit, whereas actually we learn quickly that we flourish together or not at all. The vision for living well together is centred on flourishing children of course, but without flourishing adults, there will be few flourishing children.
So as we head into this next half of the team, may your vision continue to come to life in flourishing together across your whole community.

Andy Wolfe - Deputy Chief Education Officer (Leadership Development)

Growing Faith Conversation (Audio Version) - click here to listen
This week, Andy discusses Faith at Home with Revd Dr Howard Worsley, Vice Principal of Trinity College Bristol and a former Diocesan Director of Education. They dig into Howard's new book 'How not to totally put your children off God' for some great insights into nurturing the faith of young people.
Enabling Flourishing Reflection (Extract)
Leaders in education cherish diversity and inclusion, recognising that their communities are inherently better and richer in their differences. They take every opportunity to celebrate learning together, and hold their doors open to people from all backgrounds and traditions. Leaders unlock opportunities for their children to flourish in a wide variety of disciplines, not simply those that are measured. They patiently nurture development and growth, knowing that character stands at the heart of educational achievement.
The biblical narrative highlights leaders who create the conditions for flourishing, being planted in the right place or conditions:
These leaders also know that plants are not always in flower and when necessary, are patient for the long-term... Adults and children flourish at different times and speeds, and there is patience for growth.

To read the reflection in full visit:


Church of England Professional Qualification for Headship (including NPQH) - applications close on 5th November.

There is still time to apply for next year’s CofEPQH programme where you will complete the NPQH whilst developing your capacity to lead a Church of England school in times of challenge and uncertainty

The CofEPQH is suitable for school senior leaders who aspire to headship within the next two years as well as headteachers who are in the first two years of headship. For more information see

“The CofEPQH is the highest quality CPD I've ever had. I can honestly say that everyday I use something I learnt on the training. It's invaluable and has helped shape me as a leader.” Nicola Moran, Deputy Head, 2020

Suggested resources to reflect on Enabling Flourishing & Growing Faith where you are
'We flourish not for our own sake, but so that we can look outwards and give.'
This beautiful version of It is Well with my Soul by Audrey Assad is full of encouragement and refreshment:

When peace like a river, attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul

Remember to take time for your own soul before looking to the flourishing of others.
'Leaders unlock opportunities for their children to flourish...'
Have you seen our newest series of films and resources, which you can use for your Bubble Worship? This one focuses on the topic 'How do we know we are loved?'
How are you using these in your schools? Do let us know @CofE_EduLead
'Jesus built a team of disciples through his ministry nourishing individual talents, creating high trust/high challenge situations, celebrating variety and giving away authority and encouraging autonomy.'
Research tells us that young people are much more likely to grow in their faith if their concerns are valued and taken seriously, if they are empowered to lead and if our words about prioritising them are translated into real action. Within school, children and young people are routinely asked what matters to them and are given opportunities to lead. Where are we also seeing this happen within our households, communities and churches? We know that the more we work together, the more children benefit and thrive.
Find out more about the issues that young people are really concerned about right now, via #iwill's Power of Youth Campaign.

Want to explore what really matters to children and young people, and how we can follow their lead, with other school and church leaders? Then join one of our Faith at Home Open Networks. Our next session on 1st December will look at approaches to supporting young people with their mental health.
'Leaders patiently nurture development and growth, knowing that character stands at the heart of educational achievement.'
In considering the value of Character Education in your own school context, this brief article about some of the myths around Character Education might be useful to stimulate a conversation: Myths Working Against Character Education, by Maurice Elias 
How are you developing children's character in your own context? Which character attributes are most important in your school? Who are you partnering with?
Find out more about CEFEL's Character Education resources here Did you know, you can also take a free MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) in Character Education through the University of Birmingham's Jubilee Centre? 
'Within the constant clamour of the new, leaders learn that we flourish when we stop doing things...'
In today's podcast, Howard and Andy talk about what school leaders and church leaders an learn from one another.
This Church of England document, produced by Liz Graveling for clergy, gives some really helpful advice for anyone managing a leadership role during a pandemic. THRIVE stands for:
  • Tune your life to healthy rhythms
  • Handle expectations
  • Recognise times of vulnerability
  • Identify safe spaces to be heard
  • Value and affirm
  • Establish healthy boundaries
How might you be able to put one or two of these into practice in your own leadership?

A Prayer for School Leaders

Heavenly Father, Maker of Heaven and Earth,
We come to you at the start of a new term,
Eagerly desiring that our children and young people flourish.
We pour ourselves out day by day,
So that they might grow in understanding, 
Increase in wisdom,
Absorb great knowledge
And become who they were created to be.

May we also seek the flourishing of our teams,
That our young people might look and see:
Life in all its Fullness
Overcoming fear, exhaustion and scarcity. 

We need your strength, when all we feel is weak,
We need your tenderness, when we are hard on ourselves and others,
We need your life-giving breath, when it all feels too much,
We need your hope, when there seems no way ahead.

Help us to see as you do, with long-term perspective,
Waiting patiently for what is to come.
Draw us together, in the knowledge that you created us
To support, encourage and stay connected to one another.
Give us faith, to know you hold us fast,
That we might bear fruit, even in the midst of this storm.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
One God, forever and forever

'Leaders know that plants are not always in flower and when necessary, are patient for the long-term.'
Kirk Franklin, Sarah Reeves, Tasha Cobbs and Tamela Mann sing this cry of the heart: My world needs you right now.
Storms may come but when we call your name
All things change
Kingdoms fall
One thing forever reigns
Is your name
The anchor that holds me in my pain stays the same
Oh, how sweet to know that your great name
Will never change 
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