The Southwark Diocesan Board of Education (SDBE) is very glad to announce that the Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, has appointed Mrs Roz Cordner as Diocesan Director of Education (DDE) for the Diocese. At the same time, the Board of the Southwark Diocesan Multi Academy Trust (MAT) has appointed Mr Marcus Cooper as its CEO. Both these posts are for a fixed term of two years, renewable for a further period. Marcus will also be continuing in post as Assistant Director of Education.

Bishop Christopher said, “The work of education across our Diocese is integral to our mission and ministry. Across our schools and colleges and in our universities, the Board and the MAT offer exemplary support to those working in many different contexts. I am very glad that Roz, as Diocesan Director of Education, will have Marcus as her colleague, and I know that under their leadership the Board and the MAT will continue to strive for excellence in all they do.”

The Rt Revd Jonathan Clark, Chair of the Board of Education, said, “Marcus and Roz have together been leading the work of the Board and the MAT since the New Year. I am delighted that they are to exercise their evident gifts of leadership over a longer period, and have every confidence that the Board and the MAT will benefit greatly from their complementary gifts and abilities.”

Speaking of her appointment, Roz said, “The opportunity to be DDE at Southwark is a great privilege and I am truly grateful for the chance to build on the excellent foundations left by Colin Powell, the previous Diocesan Director of Education. There are many challenges facing our schools at this point and to be able to ensure stability across the Southwark Diocesan Board of Education during this period will enable us all to continue to serve our schools and chaplaincies in the most effective way.”

Roz’s experience of the SDBE spans 20 years beginning when she joined All Saints’ C of E Primary School in Wimbledon as Year 5 class teacher. She went on to lead the school as headteacher for 10 years before joining the SDBE as a Primary Adviser in Jan 2015. “I am totally committed to ensuring that the SDBE continues to be a high-performing Diocesan Board, promoting excellence in education both locally and nationally,” she said, adding: “I know that by continuing to develop a close working relationship with Marcus as CEO of the SDBE MAT, we will protect the integrity of the Board’s ethos and evolve to the next phase as we respond to the current changing landscape for our schools. Our aim is to create a sustainable model for Church of England education across the Diocese in the future. I am particularly excited to be more involved in strengthening the SDBE profile within the Diocese as a whole.”

Marcus said: “I am delighted and proud to be appointed as the CEO of the Southwark Diocesan Board of Education MAT. The MAT has so many strengths all of which are underpinned by its strong Christian Ethos. I look forward to working closely with the SDBE MAT Board, MAT colleagues, governors, staff and parents through the next stage of the school improvement journey to ensure we provide the highest possible quality of education to all the pupils in our schools.”

Marcus has taught in a range of schools and settings across the entire early years and primary age range, holding various senior leadership positions. Following this, he was a consultant for the Government’s National Strategies, specialising in primary mathematics and school improvement. Subsequently, he became Regional Advisor for School Improvement for London. Marcus has wide experience in school improvement and for two years was the Primary and Early Years Education Officer for the States of Guernsey. More recently, he was the Senior Education Manager for Hertfordshire overseeing school standards and the effective delivery of education across the authority.

When asked what he hoped he would bring to the role, Marcus said, “our complementary skill sets and wide experiences of education to support Church of England education which is rooted in Christian values.”