Canon Carolyn Lewis has been invited by the Rt Rev Libby Lane, Bishop of Derby, after consultation and agreement, to lead the work of Derby Diocesan Board of Education for an interim period, initially for a year from September 2021.
Carolyn is currently Diocesan Director of Education in Leicester, and will undertake this new role in addition to her role in the Diocese of Leicester. She will become one of the first Executive Diocesan Directors of Education (DDE) in the Church of England, and this is a pioneering step for both Derby and Leicester’s education teams.
Through this partnership working both dioceses will be exploring how to be innovative in supporting their respective Church school families and in placing schools at the heart of the Church’s mission. This is an exciting opportunity for both dioceses and shows commitment to our values of generosity and creativity.
Bishop Libby said: “ Our Church Schools are examples of the good news of the Kingdom of God: their work and life are at the heart of the Diocese of Derby. I am delighted that Carolyn has agreed to take on leading our Board of Education through this next season, sharing her experience of leadership and passion for Christ across both the Diocese of Derby and the Diocese of Leicester.”
Having grown up in Warwickshire, Carolyn began her teaching there before moving to schools in Leicestershire. Carolyn has been the DDE in the Diocese of Leicester since 2014. Before that she was a headteacher in a Voluntary Aided primary school supporting a rapid journey of improvement there.
During this time, her leadership extended to executive headship, working with a Teaching School and inspecting for Ofsted and SIAMS.
Carolyn is supported by her family; husband Seth, two boys and Rosie the cockapoo. Having been to university in Wales and being married to a Welshman, life is infused with a Celtic flavour – namely Welsh rugby, RS Thomas, singing and holidays in Wales!”
On hearing of her new role, Carolyn Lewis commented: “I cherish my vocation as Director of Education and feel extraordinarily privileged to be supporting the work of Church schools across both the Diocese of Derby and the Diocese of Leicester.
"When I was a headteacher at a Church school, after some years I was asked to be an executive headteacher and lead another school. As I took on that particular professional challenge, I wondered what might be lost. Yet, I was surprised by the fact that over time, both schools gained so much from this way of working. And so, I am excited at the possibilities for what this partnership may bring.
“For Church schools to be distinctively Christ-like is a challenging task for school leaders, governors and clergy. Please pray for me and the DBE teams as we work to encourage and inspire our schools – now across both Derby and Leicester Dioceses - to meet that challenge with courage and conviction.”