Lichfield is one of the 44 Dioceses which make up the Church of England. Within this family of dioceses, Lichfield can claim to be one of the most ancient with its roots in the Diocese of Mercia, founded in 656 AD and St Chad, who became the first Bishop of Lichfield in 669 AD. The diocese now covers most of Staffordshire, the northern part of Shropshire and a substantial part of the former Metropolitan County of the West Midlands. The diocese envelops all or part of 7 Local Authorities and has 207 church schools and academies in its remit.

The principle focus of the work of the Board of Education is on its church schools, which have approximately 45,000 pupils in them. This presents enormous opportunities to the diocese, its schools and parishes to promote the Christian message and values among so many children and young people the greater part of whom will have no links with their local church. 

The Board provides excellent support services for its church schools through the Service Level Agreement. This provides the means for schools to access advice, information and professional support on collective worship, spiritual care, religious education and the development of a school's distinctive character as a Church of England school.

The Board works in partnership with the seven local authorities in the diocese (Sandwell, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, Telford & Wrekin, Walsall and Wolverhampton) and also with the Department for Education and academy trusts. The Board also works alongside higher and further education providers.

The Board ensures that headteachers, teachers and governors have the intellectual and spiritual resources to promote the distinctive Christian character of our schools. The Board also supports the collaboration between clergy, parishes, church and community schools.

The DBE is currently working in partnership with 26  Multi Academy Trusts. 7 of these trusts have or are working towards church majority articles.

Historically, Voluntary Aided schools could only join a MAT which held majority church articles. This meant that the ‘members’ of the trust had to be greater than 50% from diocese appointments.  Voluntary Controlled schools could join a MAT with either majority articles or one with minority articles. A minority articles MAT has member appointments from the diocese that make up less than 50% of the membership. 

In September 2023, the Department for Education, in consultation with the National Church, changed the model articles so that no distinction is made between minority and majority church articles, they are simply the Church Articles. These are used as alongside a memorandum of understanding between the National Church and the DfE to manage the process of academisation of schools. 

Following this change, all Church school, whether Voluntary Aided or Voluntary Controlled, must join a MAT that has either majority church articles or has adopted the new model articles (as a majority).  The following trusts are the diocesan trusts; they hold either majority church articles or the new church articles (post September 2023). These are the only trusts that are currently available for schools to convert into.

For further information on the Diocesan Board of Education please click here or use the Education team email.

Page last updated: Thursday 16th May 2024 2:37 PM
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