The Portsmouth and Winchester Diocesan Board of Education. Guidelines on the Commissioning of a new Headteacher

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1 The Portsmouth and Winchester Diocesan Board of Education Guidelines on the Commissioning of a new Headteacher Lilian Weatherley August 2002

2 To collaborate with schools, especially Church Schools, in order to engage with families in pastoral care and introducing the Christian faith Into a new Millennium - Our Response to Christ s Call (Bishop Michael) Page 2 of 8

3 The appointment of a new Headteacher often heralds a new beginning for a school, an opportunity to move forward with fresh insight and vigour. Many schools will wish to review their ethos, mission statements, aims and objectives at this time. Church Schools might consider their distinctive nature and the Christian ethos on which the school was founded. It is a time for governors, staff, parents and pupils to work together to welcome and affirm the new Headteacher. One way of welcoming the new Headteacher into the parish and local community is by celebrating the appointment with a commissioning service. In a Church School it is a time to emphasise the importance to the church of the school and its Christian educational role. This is a wonderful opportunity for the incumbent to meet with the new Headteacher and governing body to plan such an event. Each school/parish community will wish to do this in their own unique way, making the service relevant to that school and that community. The following are simply some points that you may wish to consider and two examples of such a service. Where will the service take place? Is it more appropriate to welcome the Headteacher to the parish in the church or to invite parishioners into the school? Space will be a consideration. Who will be invited? Governors, staff, parents, pupils, LEA representatives, Diocesan representatives, the previous Headteacher. When will the service take place? During a Sunday Eucharist, evensong, a weekday so that the whole school is present, or an evening to include parents and governors. Who will do the commissioning? This will usually be the vicar, but it may be carried out by a bishop, archdeacon or diocesan officer. What format will the service take? Who will be invited to take part? Will there be presentations from pupils, staff (teaching and non-teaching), governors etc.? Will the service be a special service or will it be part of a Sunday Eucharist? Will the new Headteacher play a part, e.g. read the gospel, and give an address? Who will write the order of service? Will the pupils play a part in this? Could a pupil design the cover? Could a pupil write a prayer? Will the service be followed by a celebration? Who will be responsible for organising/funding? Page 3 of 8

4 SUGGESTED ORDER OF SERVICE FOR COMMISSIONING OF CHURCH SCHOOL HEADTEACHERS Read by a senior pupil Our school is a bit like a family. (Less formal) There are people of all ages in it and we try to live and work happily together. We try to value all the members of the school as being important - whether they are young or old, just starting in year R or senior teachers or cleaning staff. We try to be a caring family, looking after each other and always having time to offer a helping hand. We are really glad to welcome (INSERT NAME OF NEW HEADTEACHER) as our new Headteacher at (INSERT NAME OF SCHOOL). We hope (he / she) will quickly settle into his/her new job and be very happy at (INSERT NAME OF SCHOOL). We have a special creed which reminds us of our aims as a Christian School. Please could we read it all together as we commission (INSERT NAME OF NEW HEADTEACHER) as our new Headteacher. This is our school Let peace dwell here, Let the rooms be full of industry, Let love abide here, Love of one another, Love of mankind, Love of life itself, And Love of God. Let us remember that As many hands build a house, So, many hearts make a school. (The school prayer of Mission Statement could be used here) Page 4 of 8

5 Read by a senior pupil Let us pray: Heavenly Father, thank you for our school at (INSERT NAME OF PLACE). Thank you that everyone involved and associated with the school is a valued member of the community. Thank you particularly today for calling (INSERT NAME OF NEW HEADTEACHER) to be our new Headteacher. Lord, please help (him / her) in (his / her) work. Guide (him / her) in the decisions (he / she) has to make. Help (him / her) to manage the school carefully and well. Help (him / her) to be happy as the leader of our school family. May (he / she) get on really well with all the pupils, the staff, the governors and the parents. May (he / she) enjoy using all the gifts that you have given (him / her) to fulfil your will for our school in the years ahead. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Commissioning Vicar Lord, give to (INSERT NAME OF NEW HEADTEACHER) your special gifts of wisdom and grace that (he / she) may serve our school community to the honour and glory of your holy name. Almighty God, Pour out your Holy Spirit upon (him / her). Lord, grant (INSERT NAME OF NEW HEADTEACHER) creativity in teaching, insight and understanding in leadership, and vision in management. May (he / she) lead the school in the ways of Christ through the pursuit of equality, truth, justice, love and of peace. Amen. Finally, in turn, (INSERT NAME OF NEW HEADTEACHER), be assured of our commitment as your church in (INSERT NAME OF PLACE) to support you, your family, and the school through prayer and practical help. May you be fulfilled in your work here. Page 5 of 8

6 SUGGESTED ORDER OF SERVICE FOR COMMISSIONING OF CHURCH SCHOOL HEADTEACHERS (Formal) Suggested for the Family Service - after the Gospel Introduction of new Headteacher by the incumbent or chairman of governors Incumbent (Or other) (INSERT NAME OF NEW HEADTEACHER) you have been appointed as the Headteacher of (INSERT NAME OF SCHOOL). You will recognise the responsibilities involved. Education is part of the Church s mission in sharing the Good News of the Gospel for Education. It recognises that all human experience presents opportunities for developing and deepening the love and knowledge of God and others. As the Headteacher of (INSERT NAME OF SCHOOL) you are responsible for ensuring the school is rooted in Christian values, principles and beliefs, that Worship and Religious Education are central to the whole life and work of the school and that the Christian faith influences the whole school curriculum and its ethos. As the Headteacher you have a special responsibility to ensure that everyone in your school is valued, and recognised as being created in the image of God, and uniquely gifted by Him. Do you commit yourself to this work? Headteacher I will, with the help of God. Parents, you are your children s first educators and Partners with the school in their education. Do you commit yourself to working with the Headteacher, staff and governors of INSERT NAME OF SCHOOL by supporting them in their work as they seek to provide educational excellence for your children in a Christian context? Parents: We will, with the help of God. Children, will you promise to do your best to help your new Headteacher and the staff of your school? Page 6 of 8

7 Pupils: We will, with the help of God. Chair of Governors: Fellow governors, we have appointed (INSERT NAME OF NEW HEADTEACHER) as the Headteacher of our school. We must commit ourselves to supporting (him / her) and ensuring that all pupils receive excellent education in the context of the Christian faith. Governors: We will do so, with the help of God. Staff, do you commit yourselves to the education and nurture of pupils in a Christian environment and to working with and supporting your new Headteacher? Staff: We will, with the help of God. (turning to congregation) As members of the Body of Christ in this place, you have a specific Christian responsibility for (INSERT NAME OF SCHOOL) as it seeks to educate the children of this community in the context of the Christian faith upon which the school is founded. Will you support the Headteacher, staff, pupils and governors with your prayers and active encouragement? Congregation: We will, with the help of God. Incumbent (to Headteacher) Trustees of the School: Diocesan Director of Education or representative: To be entrusted with the management of a school and the nurture of its pupils is a solemn trust. We pray that God will strengthen you by His grace faithfully to fulfil this task. On behalf of the Trustees and the local congregation we welcome you. We present you with the keys of (INSERT NAME OF SCHOOL) as a symbol of your headship. May God bless you in all that you do. Receive this Bible to mark your new headship. It is God s Word and the foundation of all true wisdom. Use it to guide and inspire you. Page 7 of 8

8 Intercessions Lord, give to (INSERT NAME OF NEW HEADTEACHER) your special gifts of wisdom and grace that (he / she) may serve your children to the honour and glory of your Holy Name. All: Pour out Your Spirit upon us. Lord, give to (INSERT NAME OF NEW HEADTEACHER) the spirit of love and joy that (he / she) may serve You and all Your children with gladness. All: Pour out Your Spirit upon us. Grant to (INSERT NAME OF NEW HEADTEACHER) creativity in teaching, insight and understanding in leadership, and vision in management. May (he / she) lead the school in the ways of Christ through the pursuit of equality, truth, justice, love and peace. Amen. Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. Headteacher: In the name of Christ. All: Amen Page 8 of 8

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