New leader for church school education

Dr Ann Holt, Diosesan Director of Education at the Diocese of Chichester - picture submitted
Dr Ann Holt, Diosesan Director of Education at the Diocese of Chichester - picture submitted

The Diocese of Chichester, which includes the Horsham district, has appointed a new director for education.

Dr Ann Holt OBE, who is currently lay canon of Bristol Cathedral and has an extensive background working in education, will take the role of supporting and leading the diocese’s church schools.

The Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner, said: “I am absolutely delighted by the appointment of Dr Ann Holt as Chichester’s new Diocesan director of education and look forward to welcoming her and her husband, Canon Douglas Holt, to life and work in Sussex. Ann is a nationally recognised leader in the field of education. She is experienced in the classroom, imaginative, inspirational and demanding of high standards as a team leader, and a persuasive advocate for the invaluable contribution that Christianity makes to the educational and social needs of children, young people and their families.

“The diocese has 159 church schools, providing free education to 35,000 students. Under her leadership their future will be in good hands.

Dr Holt, who takes up her post in September, said she was excited to be joining the Diocese of Chichester.

She said: “I am looking forward to serving the whole school community and working with the diocesan education team who I know are dedicated to the Christian mission in all its schools.”

Dr Holt is currently director of external relations for the charity Bible Society. She has spent all her working life involved in education, including working at the Department for Education (DfE) and also chairs of the Bristol Diocesan Board of Education.

Throughout this time she has been a governor of several primary, secondary and nursery schools and she has twice been chair of governors.

She has been a national trainer and consultant to Local Education Authorities, the DfE, and independent schools. Adamson Books have published her book ‘Joined-up Governance’, co-authored with Jane Martin.

Ann was awarded her OBE for services to education in 2004. She is a firm believer in community involvement in education and considers serving as a governor to be an excellent way for people to engage with their communities.

A diocese spokesman added: “We look forward to welcoming and working with Ann in this Diocese as she takes up the many challenges facing our church schools at this time.”