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Southwark Diocesan Board of Education

My name is Gwynn Bassan and our organisation is the Southwark Diocesan Board of Education (SDBE).

What was the highlight of your summer? 

I celebrated a milestone birthday in style – let’s just say it wasn’t my 40th! I had one celebration for each decade, involving a night out at the Choir of Man (where, somehow, I ended up on the stage), a Michelin star meal, a tapas party in the West End and, for the grande finale, a couple of big family celebrations in Lisbon. It was wonderful to be surrounded by so many special friends and loved ones and I still keep using every opportunity to continue the celebrations!

Which method of contact you most prefer people to use
when getting in touch?

I am the main link for the NPQs and can be contacted on my email address: If there are any admin related questions, please contact our Office Administrator, Nora Jeffal on 020 7234 9200 or

Tell us a little bit about you as an organisation

The SDBE supports 103 schools and academies, colleges and universities across a diverse and vibrant Diocese – across South London and East Surrey. Our vision for education reflects the wider Anglican concern for the well-being of everyone entrusted to our care. Our Christian outworking is to serve the needs of young people and their families in the community as a whole. We aim to ensure that our school leaders, governors and chaplains are equipped to give the 35,000 children in our care the best possible education and life chances. SIAMS and OFSTED inspection outcomes place us as one of the highest performing Diocesan Boards of Education nationally, with our diocesan schools’ performance consistently above national averages. 100% of our schools are SIAMS good or better, and 98% are OFSTED good or better. The SDBE are a great team to work with and we are all dedicated to providing excellent training, professional advice, resources, guidance and pastoral support.

Why did you choose to be a partner with Church of England
and Catholic Education Office?

We have an excellent working relationship with CEFEL and value our partnership. The SDBE MAT had shared positive feedback of their experience delivering NPQs with CEFEL and this is an opportunity to utilise the skills of leaders across our team and the SDBE family of schools. It is also wonderful to be working with other church schools where we all share in the Church of England vision for educating for Wisdom, Hope, Community and Dignity. CEFEL offer the full range of NPQ courses which provide opportunities for our school staff to flourish along their chosen aspirational leadership pathways. Along with the programmes, CEFEL facilitates invaluable networking and access to research which will enable all participants from all schools, not just church schools, to fulfil their moral purpose of having a significant, positive impact on their communities.

Which NPQs do you offer? 

We offer all of the Standard NPQs.

Which Cohort are you running?

NPQSL in cohort 5 and NPQLTNPQLTD NPQLBC and NPQH in cohort 6

Where will your learning take place? 

We are lucky enough to have a central London location. Our offices are based in Union Street, Southwark, close to Borough Market. We are 5 minutes walk from London Bridge or Borough stations, or 15 minutes walk from Waterloo. We have a large training space with state of the art technology for presentations and conferencing, and several break out rooms for smaller group seminars or discussions.

Is there anything you would like to say to somebody
who's considering an NPQ?

If you are looking for professional development that will enable you to grow and flourish, and have a positive impact on your communities, the NPQs are for you. They are built around evidence-based research and will allow participants to reflect, ask questions, discuss and debate. Participants will work with peers from different schools and regions which will only enrich their learning and allow them to gain a fresh perspective on leadership within their own contexts. The NPQs are also designed for busy professionals with heavy workloads as there is a mixture of online learning, self-study and face to face sessions. The sequence of learning makes every stage of the NPQ journey relevant and meaningful, providing participants with plenty of ‘take-aways’ to put into action in their own schools.