Divisions – Education and Adoption Bill

On 16th December 2015 votes were held on amendments to the Government’s Education and Adoption Bill at its Report stage in the House of Lords. Several bishops took part in the votes: Continue reading “Divisions – Education and Adoption Bill”

Education and Adoption Bill – Bishop of Ely welcomes Government assurances on church school ethos and academy conversion

On 16th December 2015 the House of Lords considered the Government’s Education and Adoption Bill at Report Stage. Ther Bishop of Ely, Rt Revd Stephen Conway, spoke during debate on amendments to clause 7 of the Bill on the Secretary of State’s duty to make Academy orders where a school is judged to be failing. The Bishop supported the Government’s position.

14.10.16 Bishop of Ely 2The Lord Bishop of Ely: My Lords, I am very keen to support the idea of effective communication with our parents, not least about the ethos and character of schools, given that they have a deep effect. We see in the good key stage 2 results this last year the impact of character and ethos on effective academic results. Our parents are really keen to ensure that in any change of school, its ethos and character are maintained and that that is effectively communicated to them by any academy proprietor.

I had submitted my own amendment, which I have now withdrawn because I am content, following conversation with the Minister, that he agrees that ethos and character can be maintained and should be safeguarded effectively. I understand that parents around the country want, of course, to have even more say in what happens, but consider that church schools, in particular, have something significant to offer in relation not only to academic performance and ethos but future guarantees of religious literacy in the way in which our country is served. Continue reading “Education and Adoption Bill – Bishop of Ely welcomes Government assurances on church school ethos and academy conversion”

Bishop of Ely asks Government about academy conversions and church land

On 14th December Baroness Pinnock asked the Government “whether, if a faith school is rated inadequate and is required to become an academy, they will enforce the transfer of church land to the academy trust.” The Bishop of Ely, the Rt Revd Steven Conway, asked a follow-up question.


14.10.16 Bishop of Ely 1The Lord Bishop of Ely: My Lords, can the Minister expand on the nature and character of the safeguards being provided, given that the prime issue around this land is not the land itself but that it has been given by parishes and generations of generous citizens to guarantee the religious character of those schools? Continue reading “Bishop of Ely asks Government about academy conversions and church land”

Bishop of Ely highlights role of church schools during Lords debate on Education and Adoption Bill

“We are committed to excellence and parents choose Church of England schools because of the broad and rounded education they provide… I urge the Minister and his officials and his officials to ensure that clear protocols and their consistent application are used to support the continued partnership between church and state as providers of education.” – Bishop of Ely, 20/10/15

14.10.16 Bishop of Ely 1On 20th October 2015 the House of Lords debated the Government’s Education and Adoption Bill. The Bishop of Ely, Rt Revd Stephen Conway, who is chair of the Church of England’s Board of Education, spoke about the work of church schools in character education. He also underlined the commitment of the church to helping improve standards through collaborative work between church schools, diocesan bodies and multi-academy trusts. The text of his speech and the minister’s response is below.


The Lord Bishop of Ely:
The Church of England is firmly committed to delivering outstanding education that promotes academic excellence, together with the development of the whole child. I welcome all that has already been said about any approach to metrics in education to take a holistic view strongly into account.

I have already spoken in this House about the importance of character education. Last week, the Church of England launched a new discussion paper, on character education in schools, at a conference that was attended by teachers, school leaders and many people involved. The point was our doing this in partnership with the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues at the University of Birmingham, so that the work we are seeking to do in this area is of interest not just to those of us in the church but looks at how we can take a holistic approach to the education of the whole child across the maintained education service. Continue reading “Bishop of Ely highlights role of church schools during Lords debate on Education and Adoption Bill”

Education and Adoption Bill – Speech by Caroline Spelman

Caroline SpelmanOn the 22nd June 2015 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP, spoke during the second reading debate of the Government’s Education and Adoption Bill. Emphasising the role of the Church of England in education, and welcoming the move towards more multi-academy trusts, Mrs Spelman sought assurances that the proposed new Government powers of intervention would not limit the Church’s ability to control its existing schools and promote new ones. Her speech is in full, below:

Continue reading “Education and Adoption Bill – Speech by Caroline Spelman”

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