Inspiring day for school leaders.

School leaders from across Rochester Diocese’s Church school network have met for an inspiring day of talks and discussions, exploring the theme of ‘flourishing for all.’

There are 90 Church of England schools within the Rochester Diocesan family of schools who give a Christian education through the state sector to 22,110 children aged from 4 to 19.

Organised by the Rochester Diocesan Board of Education, among the keynote speakers on the day was the Rt Rev Stephen Cottrell, the Bishop of Chelmsford.

Schools at heart of Church's mission

Bishop Stephen, who has written widely on evangelism, spirituality and discipleship, as well as leadership in a Christian context, spoke about schools being powerful examples of Christian service:

“I speak of church schools, not faith schools, as we are community schools where we care for every child.

“As headteachers, you and your schools are right at the beating heart of the Church of England’s mission and ministry.”

Andy Woolfe, Deputy Chief Education Officer (Leadership Development) for the Church of England Foundation for Education Leadership supported his sentiments during his presentation, in which he reminded delegates that:

“Flourishing children happen when there are flourishing adults and flourishing adults are part of flourishing teams.”

Inspiration from world athlete

The day ended with an inspiring talk by Derek Redmond, World and European relay champion.  He spoke not only about the attributes that go to make a successful team, but the learning he drew from the moment at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona when he became part of one of the most inspirational scenes in Olympic history.

Having torn a hamstring during his race, he was determined to finish, and hobbled to the finish line with the help of his father.

Despite being told he would never represent his country again, undeterred he went on to forge a new career in national basketball: “The key to success,” he said, “is getting up one more time than you get knocked down.”

Positive day

For those who attended it was a very positive and worthwhile day:

“The Leadership Conference was really outstanding this year. I gained so much from it. Every speaker was inspiring.”

“It was such an encouragement to be able to take a day out from the hectic-ness of school life, to meet with like-minded colleagues, and to be inspired and guided in reflection about the purpose and meaning of our roles. I have taken away much to reflect further on.”

To find out more about the work of the Rochester Diocesan Board of Education and the support they give to church schools visit:

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