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18th November 2022

This week's message from Andrew Teale, Diocesan Director of Education 

Thank you from the Dispatch Box
This Sunday is the Feast of Christ the King where we resubmit ourselves to serve Jesus in all that we do. I think people with a vocation to work with children in nurseries, schools or sixth form colleges, are well placed to do God’s work, each and every day. I think we underappreciate the value of that in our profession sometimes. It isn’t true for everyone and every profession.
Early in my teaching career, when I told one of the regular church goers at Shobdon what I had decided to do as a career, he told me how much Christian integrity he thought the profession had. I hadn’t really thought it through in that way before, but his words have stuck with me ever since.

Click here to continue reading Andrew's message...

Applications Deadline for VA School Conditions Allocations 2023/24

A reminder for all Heads and Chairs of our VA schools regarding their SCA application for 2023-24.  Please ensure your application is submitted by 30th November 2022 with the relevant documentation to  Please do get in touch with the Education Team if you need any support or further information regarding your application. 

What's your vision like?

20/20?  No we don’t mean your eye test....

What is your school’s Christian vision like?

How does it inform your leadership decisions?

How does it enable you to see flourishing of both pupils and adults?

These are questions explored by both the present SIAMS schedule and the new Framework that starts in September 2023. Next week we are running our Practical Guide to Developing your School's Christian Vision (SIAMS focus) course on 22nd November, which is designed to help those beginning to explore what their school’s unique and distinctive Christian vision is. We will also provide you with tools to help you develop your school through the lens of your vision for a hope filled future for all your pupils.

For those schools further ahead with their vison we have the following two courses to help you reflect on it further. How to Review and Embed your School's Christian Vision and Getting to Grips with a Theology in Education please book these from our training page: Education Training and Events Schedule 22-23 - Diocese of Hereford (

Further Diocesan Online Training & Development 

New SIAMS 2023: SIAMS 2023 introductory training: 7th February 2023: 9.30am - 12 noon

Collective Worship/Prayer/Spirituality: RE training: Governor training:
Please see our Education Events Page for a full list of our training courses.  An unlimited number of places at the majority of our courses are included for all Partnership Schools. Please do get in touch with the Education Team if you wish to discuss our Partnership Agreement and the support on offer. Details of our Diocesan Partnership Agreement  are available in the link.
Several of our schools have worked with Project Touchline to receive Sports coaching that builds upon the schools Christian values. Chris works with each school to provide collective worship and starts a prayer club as part of the package. Find out more here
Andrew's message continued...
I first ‘discovered’ how I felt about working in schools when was doing some developmental psychology research in my degree and I worked for several weeks in a Hertfordshire (not Herefordshire) primary school. I absolutely loved it and found it much more rewarding than the 6 week occupational psychology placement at Nuclear Electric, near Cheltenham. Even though the work there was clearly important too, it wasn’t for me anything like as exciting and vibrant as the atmosphere and work in school. The sense of instant ‘reward’ for me was mainly driven by the clear and obvious sense of the difference you can make through teaching. A child does not understand something, so you explain it as well as you can, and then they do. In that moment you have made a difference to a young life and in the process feel like you’ve done something worthwhile with your own.
Jesus repeatedly brings children to the front of things. We should be more like them and we should put them first, not last. I don’t think anyone working in school would feel ashamed to tell Jesus what they do for a living.
There are many different kinds of teacher, of course. Primary and secondary teaching is very different (though having gained a better understanding of both in recent years, I don’t think they are as different as we sometimes imagine). I always struggled a bit when, as a primary school teacher, people would sometimes ask me what subjects I taught. ‘Well…all of them.’ I have often referred to reception teachers as the ‘special forces’ of the education profession, but I am also in awe of the skills and subject knowledge to teach in KS4 and KS5. Try observing a French ‘A level’ lesson if you don’t believe me.
Priests are teachers too of course, and I feel very blessed to be able to listen to the teaching of senior clergy in our diocese very regularly. 10 minutes of teaching from someone who has studied and understands Christian theology at a much deeper level than me, is enlightening and (I find) practically helpful to my day-to-day work and life. I also find that a moment of spiritual reflection is also as good for mental well-being as an early morning walk.
In Bishop Richard’s video message yesterday, he teaches us about different types of bias and reflects on their dangers. He links these powerfully with a recent remembrance service experience and he explains the linguistic importance of the different Greek translations for the single English word ‘love’. He also considers why gathering different perspectives together as we find our pathway through life, is so important. It will take you 6 ½ minutes to learn about these things directly from the 106th Bishop of Hereford. I’d recommend you giving that small amount of time to listen to this kind of wonderful teaching.
I was pleasantly surprised yesterday (along with most of the education sector) that the budget statement included an additional amount for education. In spite of writing numerous letters to MPs in recent months, I was not confident that there would be any further funding for education announced in the statement. I have already said a prayer of thanks today, as I know what a difference it will make to schools in the year ahead, even though it won’t take away all financial challenges in the current context.
In case you missed it, our country’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, sent a direct message from the dispatch box in the House of Commons to everyone working in schools yesterday. That doesn’t happen every day so I thought I would pass it on here. He said…
“Our message to heads and teachers and classroom assistants today is thank you for your brilliant work, we need it to continue…”
Prayer for the Feast of Christ the King
We pray for the coming of God’s kingdom.
You sent your Son to bring good news to the poor,
sight to the blind,
freedom to captives
and salvation to your people:
anoint us with your Spirit;
rouse us to work in his name.
Father, by your Spirit
bring in your kingdom.
Send us to bring help to the poor
and freedom to the oppressed.
Father, by your Spirit
bring in your kingdom.
Send us to tell the world
the good news of your healing love.
Father, by your Spirit
bring in your kingdom.
Send us to those who mourn,
to bring joy and gladness instead of grief.
Father, by your Spirit
bring in your kingdom.
Send us to proclaim that the time is here
for you to save your people.
Father, by your Spirit
bring in your kingdom.
Lord of the Church,
hear our prayer,
and make us one in mind and heart
to serve you in Christ our Lord. Amen.


Blessings for a restful weekend and for the week ahead in our schools as we count down to advent and the start of a new church year.

Canon Andrew Teale
Diocesan Director of Education

For further information and updates from the wider Diocese please see the regular bulletins issued by the central communications team.

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