THE Bishop of Ely, the Rt Revd Stephen Conway, is to be the next
chairman of the Board of Education, it has been announced. He will
succeed the Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Revd John Pritchard, who
retires at the end of October.
Bishop Conway's association with Church of England schools began
as a child in south London, where he was a pupil at Archbishop
Tenison's, a boys' school near the gates of the Oval cricket
ground. From there he went to Keble College, Oxford - the first
member of his family to attend university.
After training for the priesthood at Westcott House, Cambridge,
he held parish appointments in Durham diocese, before becoming
Archdeacon of Durham, and a residentiary canon of Durham Cathedral
In 2006, he moved south to become Area Bishop of Ramsbury, in
Salisbury diocese; and in 2010 he was appointed to Ely. Bishop
Conway has been a church-school governor, and, at Ely, has followed
the development of the diocese's multi-academy trust, which in
September will include 14 schools.
Speaking this week, Bishop Conway said: "I am committed to
ensuring that we serve whole communities by providing education of
the highest quality, in the context of Christian belief and
Report on academies. The achievement of the
most disadvantaged pupils in academies sponsored by three Church of
England dioceses - Oxford, Ripon & Leeds, and Salisbury - was
among the worst in England, a report from the Sutton Trust,
published this month, says. The report was based on 2013
performance data, compiled by the Department for Education
The academies involved all served exceptionally challenging
areas, it is understood. The C of E's chief education officer
designate, the Revd Nigel Genders, said: "During the early
development of these academies, we recognised the need for strong
leadership and accountability. We are glad the report also observed
that they made significant improvements between 2011 and 2013."
Dioceses were now forming multi-academy trusts (MAT), providing
a more effective model for school improvement, Mr Genders said.
"This year, the academies within Coventry diocese's MAT were among
the most improved in the country."