The Education Team

Education Team Members

The Diocesan Board of Education operates with a small team of officers in support.  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:


Barrie Scott

Deputy Diocesan Director of Education

Barrie was Vicar of St John the Evangelist, Perry Barr for eight years 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 is a member of the Diocesan Board of Education and Vice-Chair of the Birmingham Diocesan Multi-Academy Trust.  He took up post as Deputy Diocesan Director of Education on 01 February 2023 and is available to provide professional advice and support for heads, staff, clergy and governors of CofE schools when requested. 

Contact Details Telephone: 0121 426 0418  Email:


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 Telephone: 0121 426 0422  Email:


Susan Crosthwaite 

Education Support Manager

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

Susan also co-ordinates the Diocesan Board of Education’s service to our schools and administers both the Board and its Governor and Standards Committees. She is responsible for the organisation of our annual leadership conference and other key events.

Contact Details Telephone: 0121 426 0419  Email:


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, arranging and clerking appeals and is the key point of contact for school for anything admissions-related. 

Contact Details Telephone: 0121 426 0417  Email:

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