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Bryan Allbut stands down as Chair of Diocesan Board of Education

Published: 23rd December 2022

Bryan AllbutAt the end of December, Bryan Allbut will stand down as Chair of the Diocesan Board of Education (DBE) after serving in this voluntary post for nearly seven years and being part of the DBE for ten years.

Bryan trained as a teacher, teaching history and social science in secondary schools and also supported schools during his professional career. On retirement, he was talking to a former member of the Diocesan Board of Education and decided to stand as a rep from his deanery. When the previous Chair stepped down, Bryan was asked whether he might consider taking on the role.

He said: “We had just appointed Margaret James as new Diocesan Director of Education and with the growth in Academies, the DBE was needing to refocus to be able to support our schools effectively. Becoming Chair seemed to be an opportunity for me to help reshape the Board’s emphasis, moving more into standards to ensure we continued to help schools.”

The DBE works mainly with first, middle and primary schools across the Diocese, but is also increasingly trying to support our three secondary schools. It is responsible for the appointment of Foundation Governors and also sets the strategic direction for the diocesan Education Team, as they seek to provide practical, pastoral and spiritual support for our schools.

“We often provide the interface between the spiritual and the secular,” continues Bryan. “With the decline of the Local Authority, schools need more help with finance and other practical issues, but the Christian distinctiveness of our schools is also very important. The balancing act between the two sets of imperatives is both interesting and challenging.”

Bryan has enjoyed heading up the DBE. “I’ve found that it has unexpectedly deepened my faith. At times I’ve really had to think about what Jesus might want me to do in a particular situation. I’ve also met some very interesting people through the DBE and Education Team. We’ve had disagreements and wrestled with hard decisions but have ultimately worked well together! I have had the privilege of working with two excellent Directors of Education in Margaret and Tim Reid and and a superb Education Team.”

There are ongoing challenges for our schools over the coming years as the Academisation agenda continues as well as helping smaller schools to continue to thrive and supporting staff well-being, particularly that of senior leaders in schools. “Our church schools are very special places with their Christian values permeating everything they do,” said Bryan. “I would definitely encourage others to get involved in the DBE to help support them. Although a background in education is useful, you don’t need to have been a teacher – we need people with analytical skills and those that are good at building relationships. It’s a very rewarding group of people to be part of!”

Page last updated: Friday 23rd December 2022 10:01 AM

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