The Education Service

Schools Bulletin: June 2011

From Paul Barber

From:

Paul Barber

Director of Education

paulbarber@rcdow.org.uk

020 7798 9005

All Change!

This year the Education Service is facing a period of change.

On 5th April  it was announced that the Holy Father had named our Chairman as Archbishop-Elect of Cardiff. He will relinquish his responsibilities in this Diocese on 5th June, and will be installed as Archbishop of Cardiff on 20th June 2011. Bishop George has been a great friend to education in the diocese for many years. He is a fund of knowledge about our schools and their communities and a staunch defender of Catholic education. His wisdom, determination and vision have guided the major developments in education over recent years. We will miss him greatly as a priest, as our bishop and as our guide. I am sure you will join me in assuring Bishop George of our prayers as he begins an exciting new challenge. There will be an opportunity for farewells to Bishop George when he celebrates Mass for us on 5th July 2011.

The Archbishop has asked Bishop John Arnold to look after the education brief in the Diocese for the time being, until such time as more permanent arrangements can be made.

Our conference on 5th July 2011 has the theme of ‘developing a culture of vocation’. It is most fitting that we will end the day by celebrating the work of Maureen Roe, Deputy Director of Education, after the end of the conference. She is an excellent example of ‘vocation’ as she has given herself tirelessly to education as a teacher, head teacher and, for the last ten years, to the wider service of education across the diocese. So many colleagues have expressed their sadness at the news that Maureen is retiring, and so many of us wonder where we will be without her.

Sadly, Margaret Carswell, Primary Team Leader, will be leaving us later this month to continue her work for the Australian Catholic Education Service. Although with us for only a short time her contribution has been immense and I am pleased to announce that she will be continuing to work for us on an ‘ad hoc’ basis so that the developments she has initiated can continue.

I am pleased to announce that the Education Commission have appointed Josephine Lewis as Deputy Director of Education from September this year. Josephine is a former secondary headteacher and is currently working as a SIP and S5 inspector. We will also be joined by two new primary advisers: Catherine Bryan and Michael Corcoran. Catherine is currently working for the Archdiocese of Southwark, and Michael is a primary head teacher. There will be opportunities to introduce them and make them feel welcome later in the year.

Paul Barber Signature

Paul Barber


 

Marking the Year of Catholic Education... and beyond to London 2012

The Year of Catholic Education that began with the Papal Visit comes to a close on the feast of Blessed John Henry Newman on Sunday 9 October 2011. To mark the close of the year and celebrate Catholic Education, two events are planned in Westminster Cathedral. Both are pan-London events involving the three London dioceses - Westminster, Brentwood and Southwark.

The first event is a display of pupils’ work celebrating Catholic Education to be held in Westminster Cathedral from Friday 30 September to Friday 7 October 2011. It may take any visual form – art, drawing, photographs, writing – anything that may be transported to and displayed in the Cathedral. Most, if not all, schools have mounted relevant displays during the year, starting with the Papal Visit and perhaps marking ‘Celebrating Religious Education’ in March, that would be suitable. The exhibition will be staged in the chapels of St George and St Joseph so space will be limited. Further details including how to apply will be included with the forthcoming letter.

The second event is to mark the close of the Year of Catholic Education, on the last school day before the feast of Blessed John Henry Newman, that is, on Friday 7 October 2011. All schools in the three dioceses will be invited to be represented at a concelebrated Mass at Westminster Cathedral led by the Archbishop of Westminster. Colleges and Institutes of Higher Education will also be invited so representation will have to be limited. It is anticipated that there will be places for a member of staff accompanied by two of their students. It will be a liturgy for young people and will use the New Roman Missal.

A second theme to the celebration will be the launch of the Olympic Truce of ‘One Hundred Days of Peace’ for the London Olympics. As part of this, a representative of each school and college will be presented with a publication entitled ‘Release Peace’ inviting their school or college to engage in promoting peace locally and globally.

Archbishop Vincent is keen to emphasise that just as athletes prepare themselves by training for an event, so we too should be training to live the virtues in daily life. As President of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, Archbishop Vincent has written about this in the May 2011 issue of Faith Today (Alive Publications). He will also be delivering a video message to all schools and colleges on this theme which will be available on the diocesan website for use in the week beginning Monday 6th June, www.vimeo.com/catholic/videos one year in advance of the beginning of the ‘One Hundred Days of Peace’ in 2012. Just as the Games were always associated with a period of peace in Ancient Greece, so it is hoped that peace may be a feature of the London Games and a legacy that London gives to the world. “Release Peace” is one contribution to this end.

For further information please contact education@rcdow.org.uk

Academies 

The Catholic Education Service are continuing to make progress with government officials on the detailed contents of the Education Bill.  The CES also organised a further symposium with Bishops which took place in Holy Week. Dioceses across the country are collaborating with each other and the CES to progress negotiations with the DfE about the non-statutory aspects of the proposed Catholic Voluntary Academy model. The Diocese would like all schools (whether or not they are currently interested in becoming an academy) to participate in further consultation about a number of aspects of this developing policy area. We would also like to give schools that are, or may, be interested in becoming an academy an opportunity to register that interest in a more formal way with the Diocese. Full details will be posted on the Academy section of the Diocesan website and will be available by the time schools receive the printed version of this Bulletin: 

www.rcdow.org.uk/academies 

For further information please contact Paul Barber by email at paulbarber@rcdow.org.uk or on 020 7798 9005

NOCN Sixth Form General Religious Education and Sixth Form funding* 

Schools and Colleges will be aware of significant changes to the operation of the Sixth Form funding methodology used by the YPLA. The two most significant changes are the staged reduction in school Sixth Form funding to that received by Colleges and a reduction in the number of funded guided learning hours. The cap on guided learning hours remains. Full details have been circulated by the YPLA and are on their website.

On behalf of all Catholic schools and colleges nationally, the National Board of Religious Inspectors and Advisers entered into negotiations with NOCN to reduce the registration fee in the light of the revised financial climate. We are pleased to be able to report that the negotiations resulted in a registration fee per student for 2011/12 of £12.50, a reduction in excess of 50%. It is hoped that this rate will enable schools and colleges to maintain NOCN registrations and hence YPLA funding in the coming year.

The following information taken from the Learning Aims Database (LAD) contains the QAN for each qualification on the Qualifications and Curriculum Framework. All qualifications were included on the QCF from September 2010. Earlier numbers referred to qualifications on the National Qualifications Framework which has now lapsed and thus are nol onger current.

Learning Aim Reference (QAN) Learning Aim Title    Level

50081597    Award in General Religious Education E3

50081603    Award in General Religious Education L1

50080519    Award in General Religious Education L2

50080830    Award in General Religious Education L3

While this information has been taken from the LAD, please check for accuracy before completing any return. Each of these qualifications attracts Performance Points but it is not clear if these are actually credited automatically. Enquiries in this regard continue. However, it is understood that while NOCN uses ULN (Unique Learner Number), many schools continue to use UPN (Unique Pupil Number). It may be that Performance Points are credited automatically when ULN but not UPN is used. Once confirmation of the precise arrangement is established, it will be shared.

One further change in the funding methodology concerns the Success Factor.  Many schools, it is understood, have been in the habit of only cashing in Y12 qualifications during or at the end of Y13 but it seems that in future it will be necessary to ‘cash in’ Y12 qualifications at the end of the qualification. Please refer to the YPLA documentation for clarification of this point.

For further information please contact Peter Ward by email at peterward@rcdow.org.uk or on 020 7798 9005

Admissions*

A big thank you to all the schools who worked so hard to ensure that their admission arrangements were determined and forwarded to their LA by 15th April 2011. If you have not already done so, we would be grateful if you would send a copy of the determined arrangements to the diocese. It is also important at this stage to look on your LA website to check that the LA has posted the correct version of your policy.  The full policy should have been posted, not just the oversubscription criteria and if your LA has not done this please insist that they publish the policy in its entirety. As you know we are awaiting the publication of a Draft School Admissions Code for consultation.  There will be Admissions training sessions for Heads and governors in the autumn term and hopefully we will be able to look at the new Code then.

Contact: Mary Ryan on 020 7798 9005 or maryryan@rcdow.org.uk

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11 September 2011 

The beginning of the new school year will see the tenth anniversary of “9/11”. It is known that the media has already prepared programmes and publications to mark this anniversary, even before the death of Osama bin Laden. This is an important time to be mindful of Church teaching on relations with other religions. A particularly useful statement is the Bishops’ Conference document Meeting God in Friend and Stranger subtitled Fostering respect and mutual understanding between the religions issued in 2010 and available from CTS (ISBN 978 1 86082 663 4) and as a download from:

http://www.catholic-ew.org.uk/Catholic-Church/Publications/meeting_god_in_friend_and_stranger

For further information please contact your Adviser or Peter Ward by email at peterward@rcdow.org.uk or on 020 7798 9005

LCVAP 2011/2012*

The LCVAP process for 2011/12 has now been completed. Despite the late announcement of funding, a significant number of quality proposals were received from school in all areas of the Diocese. The Government priorities for this allocation focused on Basic Need and Maintenance and, therefore, the vast majority of the funding has been awarded to projects where condition was the priority. Award letters have been issued to all recipient schools. The 2011/12 LCVAP programme must be completed within the financial year and we are currently working in the belief that this is the final year of LCVAP funding. We hope to confirm funding options for 2012/13 and beyond as soon as possible.

James Review – Capital Strategy and Investment in Schools

Following the elections in May last year and the cessation of the BSF programme, the Secretary of State for Education commissioned a review of the options for Capital Investment in Schools. The project team was lead by Sebastian James and their observations and recommendations have now been published. The full report is available on the DfE website at the following address: http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/adminandfinance/schoolscapital/capitalreview/a0076572/independent-review-on-the-school-capital-system-is-published

The Secretary of State has yet to respond to the report and in the meantime, we continue to work closely with local and national government colleagues as we assess the potential implications of the recommendations. Any comments on the contents of the report should be emailed to nigelspears@rcdow.org.uk. Colleagues will note that there are some significant proposed changes in the funding and management of maintenance, including the recognition of “Responsible Bodies”. If this recommendation is accepted by the DfE we will need to consider how to respond to the challenge.

PropertyPrefect

Managing school maintenance, coordinating statutory and regulatory tests and producing evidence of compliance can be extremely time-consuming. Even schools with experienced site managers can experience significant problems, particularly during periods of staff absence. The Education Service is aware of the significant value that can be derived from effective ICT solutions and considers the product offered by Property Prefect to be worthy of consideration by Head Teachers and Governing Bodies. PropertyPrefect is a fully web based software application for managing all activities associated with premises maintenance to help schools to comply with statutory inspections, Health and Safety requirements and other ‘duty of care issues’. It is designed to be quick and easy to set up and use, and comes with a series of predefined options that are ready to use. The system provides email alerts of forthcoming important activities, an audit trail of activities (including the ability to upload and store related documents - such as certificates), the ability to log and track issues, informative and useful prompts from the guidance section and downloadable reports in Microsoft Word format. For further information, please see the information sheet issued with this bulletin. 

For more information, please telephone Nigel Spears on 07738183828.

Good News Slot

(Please note: this section of the bulletin consists of good news which have been sent in from schools around the diocese.  It may well be that others have achieved similar awards or success and, if so, we congratulate them too!)

Congratulations to St Gregory’s Catholic Science College, Brent for being identified among the top 100 performing schools for sustained improvement; St Margaret Clitherow Primary School, Stevenage for achieving the Silver Eco Award; St Patrick’s Primary School, Kentish Town, new Library-Music Room  won an RIBA Award in the 2011 London Awards.