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Service Level Agreement (SLA)

Service Level Agreement for the Diocesan Family of Church Schools and Academies 2023/25

Andrew Smith

Diocesan Director of Education (DDE)

The York Diocesan Board of Education offers the Service Level Agreement to all Church of England schools and academies within the Diocese of York.

Our aim is to provide a Service Level Agreement that is: 

  • Shaped to support the needs and mission of Church schools and academies; 
  • Supporting high quality education infused with and inspired by Christian values and vision; 
  • Professional, affordable and value for money; 
  • Transparent and equitable across different school sizes and type; 
  • Flexible and responsive to change; 
  • Sustainable and encourages genuine partnership working. 

Those schools subscribing to the Service Level Agreement are entitled to expect the Education Team to: 

  • have a pastoral concern for the staff, governors and pupils of the school;
  • provide quality advice and assistance in the areas listed; 
  • broker school improvement services and signpost school leaders to wider health and wellbeing support as required;
  • deliver the services listed upon request and to a high standard;
  • respond promptly and courteously to requests for assistance;
  • act with discretion and safeguard confidentiality;
  • be responsive to individual schools and their distinctive ethos;
  • act with integrity and in accordance with Christian beliefs and values;
  • promote at all times the Church of England foundation and Christian vision of the school;
  • deal promptly and courteously with any complaints about the level of service provided.

The York Diocesan Board of Education provides all its Church schools and academies with a range of services that form the core level of our support.

These are free to all schools and academies at the point of delivery and include support for: 

  • Leadership and Management 
  • Governance and admissions 
  • School Structures
  • Religious Education, Collective Worship and SIAMS
  • Training and Development 
  • School Buildings and Land Issues 

In addition, the Education Team will act on behalf of our Church schools and academies with: 

  • our national and regional diocesan networks; 
  • our close links with the National Society/Church of England Education Office and the wider Church;
  • our contacts with the Department for Education, including the Regional Director;
  • our association with the Teaching School Hubs and national NPQ providers;
  • our partnerships with local authorities and MATs; and, 
  • our links with clergy across the Diocese. 

We make no charge for any of these core services at the point of delivery, though the list of things for which dioceses are responsible continues to grow and these services are increasingly costly to deliver efficiently and to the high standard we would all expect. Membership of the SLA supports the whole diocesan family of schools and academies by enabling us to maintain a Diocesan Education Team with the capacity to meet needs and provide both the core and developmental services that help you to Church schools and academies to flourish.

Recruiting and appointing school leaders

Information and guidance on the recruitment of school leaders of a Church of England School. 

The Diocesan Education Team provides free support and advice throughout the process for the appointment of a head of school/headteacher/executive headteacher (or similar) and (in an academy trust context) the chief executive officer. 

It is the responsibility of the governing body of a maintained school to appoint a new headteacher. In academies, this responsibility lies with the Trust board and appointments require the consent of the YDBE. On receiving the leader’s written resignation, the governing body/trust board should inform the Diocese and (in a maintained school) the Local Authority. 

In the diocese, leadership recruitment is coordinated by Andrew Smith (Director of Education)

A Diocesan adviser should be involved in the:

  • Preliminary meeting to advise on the job description/advert/timetable
  • Shortlisting meeting to input into shortlisting and planning of the interview process
  • The interview itself.

You should also check the local authority’s requirements for involvement.

In Voluntary Aided schools, Christian commitment should be taken into account in the appointment of the headteacher (and may be taken into account for other members of staff where appropriate). In Voluntary Controlled and Foundation schools, consideration should be given to the individual’s ability and fitness to preserve and develop the religious character of the school. The YDBE will assist in providing example documents reflecting the above and questions that can be asked as part of the process.

Foundation governors should be involved in all leadership appointments.