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Bishop Conway to chair Board of Education

01 August 2014


Bishop Stephen Conway

Bishop Stephen Conway

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 2002.

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 practice."

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 (DfE).

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."

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