Diocese of Portsmouth

Education governance

Church of England schools are managed and developed through individual dioceses. Each diocese has a Diocesan Board of Education (DBE) and a Diocesan Director of Education (DDE) who is the secretary and officer of the DBE. Schools in Portsmouth and Winchester Dioceses are served by a joint DBE and a joint education team - the only example of this in the country.

Previously, the DBE existed as an unincorporated association. To be compliant with the legislative revision of the Diocesan Board of Education Measure in 2021, it transitioned to become a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) from January 2023. This has been approved by Diocesan Synods from both dioceses. The Portsmouth and Winchester Diocesan Board of Education (PWDBE) became a CIO on January 1, 2023.

The dioceses have oversight of 141 schools and academies, and have six universities in our region, one of which, Winchester University, has an Anglican Foundation.

The board is currently chaired by Professor Bill Lucas, the acting Bishop of Winchester’s nominee and meets minimally four times a year to consider strategy and policy matters. The work of the Board is supported by two permanent sub-committees, the Executive Resource Group (ERG) and Learning Environment Committee (LEC). Other fixed-term sub-committees and focus groups are formed to address current issues.

Some of the trustees of our CIO are elected by Diocesan Synods in Winchester and Portsmouth dioceses, and then appointed by the CIO.. They operate alongside one bishop’s appointee from each diocese and one archdeacon from each diocese. Anyone who is willing to become a trustee and has the necessary skills can download this document to find out more. Any questions, please contact our Director of Education Jeff Williams here