Education across the diocese is in no way limited to the compulsory sector. Clearly the Diocesan Board of Education (DBE) has a statutory responsibility for its 242 Church Schools but the vision for education includes children and young people in all of the schools across the diocese, be they Church of England, community, faith or independent schools.
Additionally, there is full recognition by the DBE that education and training is something that we continue to engage with throughout our lives and phrases like ‘lifelong learning’, ‘widening participation’ and the explosion in initiatives like the University of the Third Age informs us that there is a desire at the heart of our society for all people, irrespective of age, gender or social background to be given access to opportunities to learn new knowledge and new understandings, and to develop new skills and competencies. Within the Church we are used to formal and informal approaches to learning – from Sunday school, to Bible classes, to courses on new ways of being church, through to public lecture series and onto lay discipleship and reader training and pre- and post-ordination programmes. We don’t and we shouldn’t stop learning!
Within the diocese there are a plethora of formal learning opportunities provided by our Post-16 stakeholders, including our Colleges of Further Education, where it is possible to follow ‘learning for pleasure’ type courses, as well as vocational programmes, traditional A level courses and even University level study. Most sizeable towns have an FE College and in some of our cities there are a whole host of exciting possibilities for extending study and training. The Church of England’s engagement with this sector is reflected in its support for chaplains in colleges and the development of FE strategy and policy. Some of our FE Colleges include:
The Church of England's involvement with universities is long-standing and profound. Through chaplaincy there is an Anglican presence in the vast majority of England's 106 HEIs (Higher Education Institutions); twelve institutions have an explicitly Anglican Foundation. There are five Higher Education Institutions in the diocese and each provide a range of undergraduate, post graduate, doctoral and post-doctoral opportunities. It is difficult to predict, in the paradigm-shift world in which education finds itself in England, what the future might look like for universities: What will happen to fees? What will the impact of Brexit be on university funding and on attracting over-seas students to our universities? How will the university landscape change with the possibility of new universities being approved by government? Although we can’t answer these questions, what we do know is that more young people are attending university than ever before and ‘mature students’ continue to explore undergraduate and postgraduate opportunities.
Our five universities in the diocese are:
The Church of England, the Methodists and the Roman Catholic Church all entered the higher education world well over 175 years ago with the development of the Colleges of Higher Education, developed to train teachers for the new schools set up by the churches for the ‘deserving poor’ – this was the beginning of schooling for all, begun by the churches decades before the state engaged. Fifteen of these Church Colleges of HE still exist today, with them having now become full universities awarding their own degrees.
Our closest Church University, which the diocese continues to be in close partnership with, is York St John University, based in the heart of York and providing a wide variety of taught and research degree programmes. Find out more about York St John University.
The other Church HEIs are:
Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln
Canterbury Christ Church University
University of Chester
University of Chichester
University of Cumbria
University of Gloucestershire
Leeds Trinity University
Liverpool Hope University
University St Mark and St John, Plymouth
St Mary’s University, Twickenham
University of Wales: Trinity St David
University of Winchester
York St John University