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New Era for Wilts & Dorset Education

by Michael Ford last modified 29 Aug, 2014 02:50 PM

The Department for Education has approved the Diocese of Salisbury as the main sponsor for school support across most of Wiltshire and Dorset, the two main counties within its boundaries.

New Era for Wilts & Dorset Education

Chris Shepperd (Director of Education) with the Revd Janina Ainsworth (Chief Education Officer for the CofE) and Sir Al Ainsley-Green (Chairman of the Board of Education)

The Diocesan Board of Education is setting up the Diocese of Salisbury Multi-Academy Trust (DSMAT), working together with Cambridge Education and Mott Macdonald to ensure effective advice under the leadership of the Diocesan Director of Education, Chris Shepperd.

Whitesheet CE VA Primary School and Southbroom CE VC Junior School will be the first two schools to benefit from the work of the Trust.

The Bishop of Salisbury, Nicholas Holtam was quick to respond, saying, “Congratulations to Chris Shepperd and everyone who has been involved in the negotiations leading to our being given permission to sponsor the first two schools as Multi Academy Trusts. I very much admire your determination and am delighted by the successful outcome. It will be good for Southbroom, for Whitesheet and for the Diocese.”

Catherine Spencer, Chair of Governors for Whitesheet, said “This is such excellent news! We are hugely grateful for the immense amount of work and effort that everyone has put into this. We all look forward very much to working with the DSMAT and Cambridge Education in preparation for opening in the Autumn term.”

Participants at a recent Headteachers’ Conference also commended the work of the Board of Education. John Fowler, Deputy Head of Westbury Leigh Primary School, said he appreciated “the sense of community: the fact that schools all work together and that the Salisbury Diocese is trying to build that sense of family within our schools.”


Diocesan Board of Education 
Bishop of Salisbury
YouTube clip (6min 56sec: the John Fowler quote is at 2min 13sec) 

Further information
Contact Michael Ford, Communications Co-ordinator:
01722 438651, 07500 836989, 


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