Anglican Dioceses recognise their historic responsibility to affirm and support the wider world of education and most parishes seek to show support to all schools in their areas. Accordingly, we in Guildford Diocese, actively seek to forge links with community, foundation, special, faith and independent schools, so as to make a wider contribution to society’s task of educating and nurturing the next generation.
All schools within Guildford Diocese are warmly invited to share our education services and training opportunities for governors, school leaders and teaching staff. In addition, Canon Derek Holbird, Director of Education, hosts a termly meeting for chaplains and would be delighted to welcome all school chaplains to share this opportunity to deepen our relationship with their school and each other.
Further to this, we offer Affiliated status to schools who wish to be more closely associated with their local Anglican Church and the wider community of the Diocese. Currently there are Affiliated schools drawn from the infant, primary and secondary phases.
What is Affiliation?
An Affiliated School in Guildford Diocese is one where school, parish and the wider diocese have entered into an informal, time-limited partnership for the benefit of the school.
What Affiliation is NOT
- it does not give the diocese any power or influence in the school’s executive functions
- it does not give the church the right to promote Christianity within the school
- it does not provide access to additional funding
- it is not a means of seeking to poach pupils from other schools
What are the benefits of Affiliation?
Every school is unique and there are many factors leading to schools considering Affiliation. There are however a number of advantages gained through Affiliation. From what Guildford Diocesan Affiliated schools have said, here are some of the perceived benefits.
- it is a clear statement that the school identifies with, embraces and promotes Christian standards and values. This sends a clear message to parents and the wider community
- it is a recognition that the school values the development of body, mind and spirit and that a spiritual dimension is part of the essence of being human
- it is an indication that the school places emphasis on spiritual, moral, social and cultural education
- it develops or builds on existing positive links between the school and the local Anglican church or churches
- it recognises the positive and beneficial relationship between the headteacher and local clergy and encourages further development
- it opens up the possibility of developing relationships with the wider Anglican community
- it is a tangible recognition of shared spiritual values between school and church whilst also recognising the distinctive contribution of people of other faiths or no faith
- it makes clear the importance of faith, worship and spiritual life in the corporate life of the school
- it benefits the pupils/students and their families by strengthening existing links between school and church life
- it is seen as significant for a local parish church. The clergy and congregation will welcome the desire of a school to be more closely linked and will seek to build the relationship sensitively
- newly appointed clergy will become aware of the Affiliated status of a school and respond accordingly
- it is popular with many parents as they like the clear message it gives about a school’s open attitude to wider community links and the emphasis on values, worship and spiritual life
- many parents value the church link and the ethos and values that this implies
- it benefits the school by inclusion in the network of Diocesan Church Schools, with access to the Resources Centre, support services and training provided through the Diocesan Education Centre
- for secondary schools, it provides a natural progression from church primary to church linked secondary education
- it can be a practical demonstration of diversity of provision, as a way of being distinct from other local schools
The interest in Affiliated status has in part developed as a result of the excellent links that exist with Surrey Local Education Authority (VT/Four S), Hampshire and Kingston Local Education Authorities. Guildford Diocese has pioneered this scheme and other Dioceses are becoming interested as new forms of partnership are encouraged.
What has to be done prior to Affiliation?
There are various stages in the process as set out below:
- begin by raising the possibility of Affiliation in conversations between headteacher, senior staff, governors and local clergy and seek agreement to consult and explore further
- inform staff of the possibility and invite comment
- arrange a meeting with the Diocesan Director of Education to explore opportunities in some depth. Invite the local clergy, Chair of Governors and others as appropriate
- prepare a document that sets out the perceived benefits to your school
- inform the wider school community. The greater the number of people who understand the concept and the benefits, the stronger the partnership will be. The diocese can provide a specimen letter for parents (Word file 25KB) to help in the consultation process
- when the governing body, after full discussion and consultation, is satisfied that there is sufficient interest to proceed with Affiliated status, pass a resolution to draw up an Affiliated Scheme Agreement, endorsed by local clergy and the diocese. This agreement can be adapted as required from the specimen Agreement Form.
- Download Agreement Form (Word file 31KB) affiliated_draftagreement
How does a school benefit from and celebrate Affiliation?
- Affiliated schools receive information on training, support, resources and activities provided through the Diocesan Education Centre
- Affiliated schools have access to special training opportunities to strengthen RE, Worship, Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Education
- the school may wish to be included in the Diocesan Education Department’s programme of annual visits to review progress and discuss issues of concern
- the school will be able to buy into the Diocesan Consultancy. Diocesan consultants are highly regarded and well qualified to advise, develop and support all aspects of school development, leadership and management
- Year 6 pupils are invited to the annual Leavers’ Service at the Cathedral
- headteachers are invited to attend the annual Headteacher Retreat
- the partnership will be seen as a trigger for new discussions between school and local Anglican church(es) for future co-operation and support
- it is recommended that a governor be appointed as "Link Governor" to the Diocese for the duration of the Affiliation
- decide whether to have a launch event. The Diocese may be able to arrange for one of the Bishops to be present.
- decide what would be the most appropriate outward sign of the new status. This could be, for example, a logo on school notepaper, a banner or a plaque
How long does Affiliation apply?
- the Affiliation Agreement lasts initially for four years
- the Affiliation is renewable
- it can be reviewed by the headteacher, the governing body, local incumbent or the Diocese at any time. Such points would be a change in headship or a major change in the composition of the governing body