06 December 2006
The Revd Janina Ainsworth has been appointed as the next Chief Education Officer for the Church of England in succession to Canon John Hall, who was recently installed as Dean of Westminster Abbey.
Jan has devoted her working life to education and was ordained as deacon in 2005 and priest in 2006 to be a non-stipendiary curate in the Parish of East Farnworth and Kearsley, having been a licensed reader since 1980. She has worked in the Manchester Diocesan Board of Education since 1986, first as an advisor and schools inspector and, since 1998, as Director of Education, with responsibility for all aspects of Christian education. She previously taught at schools in Cambridge, Lancaster and North Manchester, lectured at St Martin’s College, Lancaster, and was an education liaison worker for the Tameside Council for Racial Equality.
Commenting on her appointment, Jan Ainsworth said: "I want to pay tribute to my predecessor, John Hall, whose success I hope to build upon. I am looking forward to taking up this role with its many challenges and opportunities in schools, colleges, universities and every facet of education.
“I am completely committed to the work of Church of England schools and believe that they have a real role in an inclusive and multicultural society by offering the best possible education for the children and families they serve. I hope to carry forward some of the exciting developments in good practice that are happening in many Dioceses across the country, developing ways for Church Schools to share their successes as widely as possible."
The Rt Revd Stephen Venner, Bishop of Dover and Acting Chairman of the Board of Education, welcomed the appointment saying: “I am absolutely delighted that Jan is to become our next Chief Education Officer and, having spoken to Bishop Kenneth Stevenson, I know he is equally pleased. Jan will bring into the post her long experience working with parishes and schools in a large, complex and multicultural diocese (which has its rural parts as well as urban and inner city). She can be assured of the wholehearted support of staff and members of the Board and the National Society as she takes up the many new opportunities and challenges that face the world of education in our Church and wider society. May God bless her and her family.”
As Chief Education Officer, Jan Ainsworth will be both Head of the Archbishops’ Council Education Division and General Secretary of the National Society. The Education Division is responsible to the Board of Education and to the Archbishops’ Council for the Church’s policy on lifelong, statutory and voluntary education, promoting the highest quality of educational practice throughout the Church. The National Society supports Church schools throughout England and Wales, actively supporting the education policies of the Church of England and the Church in Wales.
The Education Division is responsible for government liaison, implementing the Dearing strategy for Church schools and colleges and the Church’s work and ministry in higher and further education. The Division also produces and implements policies on work among children and young people, adult education, lay discipleship and shared ministry.
Jan, 55, is married and has four children. She will take up her new post in the Spring.