Heads and Chairs Briefing

Termly Briefing by the Guildford Diocesan Board of Education (GDBE) Diocesan Directors of Education and GDBE Officers.

Briefings include updates on topical issues for the Church of England and UK Education Sector at local, regional and national level.

These briefings provide opportunities for Heads and Chairs to meet together, share expertise, network and meet members of the Education Team.

Target Audience - Executive Leaders, Headteachers and Chairs of Governors

Without SLA Price
Universal Free
GDBE elevate CORE Free
Please Login or Register to book for this course.


Hoebridge Golf Centre


Alex Tear, DDE

Alex is an experienced Diocesan Director of Education and system leader who has contributed to shaping education policy at both a national and local level.

As Diocesan Director of Education, Alex leads the Education team in the Diocese and acts as the Company Secretary for the Diocesan Board of Education (DBE). He is member of the Bishop of Guildford’s leadership team.

Areas of Specialism: Alex’s responsibilities include advising the Diocesan Board of Education on developing its education strategy and policies including school organisation and academisation. As part of his role he advises governing bodies, academies trusts and site trustees on legal issues relating to the Christian character of Church of England schools.

Alex represents the DBE as a ‘Member’ of a number of Church multi-academy trusts across the Diocese and is a Trustee of Schools Alliance for Excellence (SAFE) a local education partnership in Surrey.

Before being appointed as Diocesan Director of Education, Alex was a headteacher of a Church of England primary school in Surrey and worked for the local authority as a School Improvement Adviser.

Matthew Rixson, DDDE

Matthew is an experienced school improvement professional and has worked in primary schools for over 25 years in a range of contexts, including nine years as a headteacher. Prior to that he spent five years working for Hampshire Inspection and Advisory Service, acting as the Leadership and Learning Partner for several school across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Matthew was the Hampshire LA data lead and a key member of the assessment team. 

Areas of Specialism: Matthew has a particular interest in curriculum development, formative assessment and tackling educational disadvantage, providing support tailored to the needs of the school . Matthew enjoys helping schools build leadership capacity through coaching and mentoring. He regularly leads professional development courses and governor training.

Role within the Diocese: Diocesan Deputy Director of Education and Head of School Effectiveness. Matthew joined the Schools Alliance for Excellence team in the capacity of School Improvement Adviser in September 2021. He is firmly committed to helping school communities to grow, flourish and live life in all its fullness. 

Jane Whittington, Schools Officer RE and Christian Distinctiveness

Jane has been a school’s officer with the Diocese of Guildford since 2013.  Before that she taught in primary schools in Surrey and Hampshire, this included headships in both church and community schools.

Jane set up one of the first prayer spaces in her school in 2008 and currently is a networker for the Prayer Spaces in Schools team, in this role she assists with training and writing materials.  Jane is an assessor for the Christian Aid Global Neighbours awards.

In her current role Jane provides training and support for school leaders, teachers, and governors in the areas of Christian distinctiveness, vision and values in church schools, spiritual development, Religious Education, collective worship,  PHSE and developing links with their parish church.  She works with diocesan colleagues to train clergy and church volunteers.

Areas of specialism: Christian distinctiveness, vision and values in church schools, spiritual development, Religious Education, collective worship, PHSE in church schools, school and church links.

Role within the Diocese: School’s Officer with responsibility for Christian Distinctiveness

Susan Costa, SIAMS Officer