Education team

The Diocesan Board of Education operates with a small team of officers in support. Our current staff members are:

SARAH SMITH Diocesan Director of Education

Sarah came to the Diocese in February 2015 from her post as Executive Head Teacher of St John’s CE Primary School in Sparkbrook, an outstanding Primary school in Sparkhill, which she led for eleven years. As a  National Leader of Education, she was involved in supporting schools on their journey of school improvement.  Sarah works with the Board of Education to plan and lead against its key priorities in supporting our schools.  Her focus currently includes developing the CofE Birmingham's Multi-Academy Trust and working on growing new Church schools through the Department of Education's Free Schools Programme.  She supports schools on building-related matters and offers advice and signposting on a whole range of queries, including HR. 

Contact Details: Telephone: 0121 426 0421 Email: sarahs@cofebirmingham.com

BARRIE SCOTT Assistant Diocesan Director of Education

Barrie has been Vicar of St John the Evangelist, Perry Barr since January 2015 and was previously Honorary Assistant Priest (SSM) at St Michael's Handsworth for sixteen years.  Between 2004 and 2015, Barrie was a successful Head Teacher of two different Secondary schools in the Midlands.  Barrie has been a member of the Diocesan Board of Education for three years, and is Vice-Chair of the Birmingham Diocesan Multi-Academy Trust.  He will be working for the Education team on a part-time basis alongside his role of Vicar.  He is available to provide professional advice and support for heads, staff, clergy and governors of CofE schools when requested; initiate support and develop links between CofE schools and parish church leaders, which will help both as partners in their mission; further partnerships between non-Church schools and parishes through the affiliation model. 

Contact Details: Phone: 0121 426 0418 Email: barries@cofebirmingham.com

JILL STOLBERG Church School Distinctiveness Adviser

With a background of teaching in the Primary and Higher Education sectors, both ITT and CPD, Jill has long been an advocate of religious education and collective worship. She leads training in these areas, for headteachers, teachers and clergy, as well as serving on four Standing Advisory Councils on Religious Education (SACREs).  Prizing the character of our Church schools, Jill provides training and support to colleagues in developing and maintaining their distinctiveness, as well as managing the Section 48 Inspections (SIAMS).   The annual schools Year 2 and Year 6 Leavers' Services are also co-ordinated by Jill.

Contact Details: Phone: 0121 426 0422 Email: jills@cofebirmingham.com

CHARLOTTE WARD LEWIS Deputy Diocesan Director of Education

Charlotte joined the Diocese two years ago as Head of School Effectiveness.  She comes from twelve years of headship in an outstanding Church of England School in Leicestershire where she was involved in school to school support and school improvement across the Diocese of Leicester. Charlotte is also a governor in an outstanding secondary school in Leicestershire. She has taken up a new post as our Deputy Director and will add to her role of school effectiveness that of supporting Governors and all matters governor-related, leading on supporting senior leadership appointments, as well as deputising for Sarah. 

Contact Details: Mobile: 07341 733557 Email: CharlotteW@cofebirmingham.com

SUSAN CROSTHWAITE Education Support Manager

Susan joined the Diocese in 2012 after many years in Local Government working with Education senior leadership.  She is responsible for the effective operation of office communications and administrative support and is the first port of call to help schools seeking timely advice and guidance. 

Susan co-ordinates the Diocesan Board of Education’s service to our schools and administers both the Board and its Governor and Standards Committees. 




Contact Details: Phone: 0121 426 0419 Email: susanc@cofebirmingham.com

RACHEL RAFTERY Education Support Officer/

Admissions & Appeals

Rachel has a legal and primary teaching background.  She works closely with Susan to support the team and manages many of our key training events.  Rachel also administers the Curriculum and Religious Education Committee of the Board of Education (CREC).  She now leads on the Admissions and Appeals process: as well as arranging and clerking appeals, she is the key point of contact for anything admissions-related. background.

Contact Details: Phone: 0121 426 0417 Email: rachelr@cofebirmingham.com