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What the DBE does

The Diocesan Board of Education promotes understanding of the nature and importance of that mission in the diocese and more widely and celebrates and champions it as an outworking of God’s love for his people.

The Chair of the Board is the Rt Revd Paul Ferguson, Bishop of Whitby. Andrew Smith is the Diocesan Director of Education. Andrew is responsible for managing the work of the Education Department and the lead officer in the development of the Board of Education strategy and policies for working with children and young people in schools, colleges and universities. He works closely with the Department for Education, Multi Academy Trusts (MATs) and local authority colleagues on school organisational matters and provides advise and support schools on academy and collaboration frameworks. He also represents the DBE in appropriate contexts at local and national level.

The Board has elected and appointed members who have relevant experience in the field of education. Its membership is regularly reviewed to ensure that it has a mix of skills and experience which best supports the Board’s work in education and children and youth work. It has three Committees: 

  • The Property, Planning and Resources (PPR) Committee – which deals with DBE staffing and finance/accounts, property and trust matters and other school organisation matters; 
  • The Schools Committee – which monitors school standards in Church of England schools and academies across the Diocese and supports them in the development of their Christian vision. Its work includes monitoring denominational and Ofsted inspection reports, the team’s work on supporting RE across the Diocese, the support provided through the Board’s Service Level Agreement with schools and the Board’s training provision. This committee also facilitates and supports partnership working with local authorities, Regional Directors and others involved in providing relevant support to Church of England schools;
  • The Children and Youth Committee – which supports and develops the Diocese’s vision for children and youth, reviews and comments on strategy, policy and good working practices for Diocesan work with children and youth and provides a forum to help the Diocese plan and coordinate a programme of events and training for all those who work with children and youth. 

The Board has established the Diocese of York Educational Trust (DYET) to act as the corporate member of academy trusts.

The Board is a member of DBE Services Ltd, a company providing educational services to schools in the dioceses of Blackburn, Carlisle, Chester, Liverpool, Manchester and York.

The officers of the Board work very much as a team, sharing a commitment to providing the best possible service to schools, colleges and universities and those who work with them. We carry out the Board’s statutory responsibilities for Church schools, working alongside local authorities and the Department for Children Schools and Families. Our aim is to be an expert resource, responsive to needs and offering advice, encouragement and inspiration to all who want to engage with education with a Christian purpose.

We deliver much of our support to schools through our Service Level Agreement.