Diocese of Carlisle

    New Director of Education appointed to support church schools

    Latest News
    23 March 2022

    The Diocese of Carlisle – the Church of England in Cumbria – has appointed a new Director of Education to lead its team supporting 104 church schools across the county.

    Charlotte Tudway – the current Deputy Director of Education – will take over the role next month from Vanessa O’Dea, who earlier this year announced she is to move on from the post.

    Charlotte said: “I am delighted to have this opportunity to build on the strong relationships we already enjoy with colleagues across Cumbria and beyond.

    “I am absolutely committed to supporting our family of schools which have a distinctive character and role at the heart of our communities. These are exciting times in the world of education, full of challenge and opportunity. I am looking forward to playing my part.”

    Charlotte studied law at university before practising as a solicitor. After having children, she re-trained as a primary school teacher and worked Church of England Schools in Hertfordshire as a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator, Deputy Headteacher and was a Headteacher, before her relocation to Cumbria in 2019. She followed her husband, Stephen, when he was appointed Priest-in-Charge of Broughton and Duddon and Kirby Ireleth parishes.

    Charlotte worked in a part time role for the Diocese before her appointment as Deputy DDE in March 2020. She has since specialised in providing support for schools undergoing the Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) inspections which focus on the impact of the Church school's Christian vision on pupils and adults. Charlotte has also worked on school improvement, training and guidance, admissions, individualised school support and liaison with our team of Diocesan Consultants.

    The Rev Andrew Towner, Chair of the Carlisle Diocesan Board of Education (DBE), said: “The whole panel were struck by Charlotte’s passion for the real difference education can make in the life of every single child, and the strong desire and calling she has to lead the DBE for the sake of all the children and young people in Cumbria.

    “Charlotte combines deep empathy with clear strategic thinking, and I am personally thrilled that she is to serve as DDE. She embodies the ethos which is at the heart of all our work, and demonstrates the ability to make significant changes for the better for our schools and pupils.”

    As Director of Education, Charlotte will manage the education team and lead on the implementation of the Board of Education’s Vision and Strategy, ensuring continued development of effective networks and partnerships both locally and nationally.

    The diocese is responsible for 104 C of E schools across the county, along with 13 academies and two affiliated schools (non-Diocese of Carlisle church schools in The Good Shepherd Multi Academy Trust).

    The Rev Nigel Genders, the Church of England’s Chief Education Officer and who sat on the interview panel, said: “Having been invited to observe Charlotte's interview, I saw what a high calibre candidate she was. I was very impressed with her vision for the DBE’s role in Cumbria and know Charlotte will be an excellent DDE - she would bless any Diocese in that role.”

    The Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Rev James Newcome, said: “We are delighted that Charlotte has been appointed to the role of Director of Education for the Diocese.

    “She brings to this position a tremendous track record of management and strategic oversight which will be to the benefit of all our church schools. I know that she has already built up very close relationships with staff and pupils across the county, and she is committed to reinforcing those ties as she takes up this new post.

    “Finally, I would again like to thank the outgoing Director, Vanessa O’Dea, for all the tremendous work she has overseen, particularly in the support of schools during the pandemic. She will move on with our thanks and prayers.”

    The Diocese will now begin a recruitment process for the position of Deputy Director of Education.


    For further information please contact Dave Roberts, Diocesan Head of Communications, on 07469 153658 or at communications@carlislediocese.org.uk.