The Education Service

Schools Bulletin: January 2014

From the Director of Education

Dear Head Teacher & Chair,

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself to you and offer my support to your whole school community. I am very honoured to have been given this role to serve the Catholic community of our Diocese. Over the coming months I will be seeking your views as to how best to support you and your governing body to ensure your school goes from strength to strength. This will help shape Diocesan support and direction.

I have worked in Catholic education in London for over twenty years and for the last six years been the Headteacher of a large secondary school in north London. I will bring to the role an experience that I hope will benefit all and I am very keen to take the Diocese to new heights.  

The culture I intend to develop at the Diocese is in three parts. The first is a Faith culture – to give consistency; the second is a Development culture – to give coherence; and finally, a Learning culture – to give clarity in all that we do as Catholic schools. 

The changes you face in education today are vast and ever changing. However, I wish to reassure you that I will do everything I can to support you in your mission. Along with my experienced team we are re-designing what the Diocese can provide for you. I very much hope you can be a part of this process and together we can have a service that benefits all and enhances the experiences of the students we serve; develops their faith and puts Christ at the centre of everything we do.

From now on the bulletins sent from this office will be electronic only in an attempt to make the correspondence paperless. It will also be easier to direct the information to whom you see fit to receive it. 

Please feel free to contact me with any concerns you may have. I wish to visit as many of our schools as I can and I look forward to working for you and with you.

Yours sincerely,

JP Morrison

Director of Education


 

Changes to the Diocesan Inspection Process – January 2014

The Diocesan Inspection Committee have agreed changes to the timing of Diocesan Inspections to allow schools to make adequate preparation, but not to burden them with an extended period of waiting for the actual date of their inspection to be announced.  The current practice of a term’s notice was considered too long and 5 working days’ notice raised the difficulty of ensuring parity of preparation time for all schools during the working week.

From 6 January 2014 the following changes will be introduced:

  1. 1. Schools will receive 2 working days’ notice of the date of their Diocesan inspection.   This means that inspections will occur on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays of the school week. The Chief Inspector will phone the school on the morning of the day which allows for two working days’ notice -

  1. Monday for inspection on a Wednesday, Tuesday for inspection on a Thursday and Wednesday for inspection on a Friday -  and inform the school of the name of the lead inspector. There will be a ONE day inspection for primary schools and a two day inspection for secondary schools.

  2. After the school has been informed of its inspection date, the lead inspector will phone the head to make all necessary arrangements.

2. Schools can expect their inspection according to the Diocesan schedule, based on the grade of their previous inspection. (every 5 years for outstanding and very good schools; every 3 years for schools judged good; every 2 years for schools causing concern)

3. Revised documentation will be placed on the website on Wednesday 11 Dec.

Current documentation will be removed on the 11 Dec to avoid confusion.

  1. The revised Diocesan Handbook sets out very clearly any changes to the process.

Please contact:  Sister Mary Jo Martin; maryjomartin@rcdow.org.uk; phone: 020 7798 9005. Mobile: 07881 641575


 

Education Sunday 2014 – Going Above and Beyond

The Catholic Education Service has produced a range of resources for schools and parishes regarding Education Sunday 2014.  The resources include-

  • Two Mass booklets- including readings of the day and suggested bidding prayers to aid worship through Mass or liturgy;

  • A Prayer Card for Education Sunday;

  • A free gift edition of the Wednesday Word, specially designed for Education Sunday, is available for Catholic Primary schools to sign up to;

  • Catholic Education Information Leaflet - A brief overview of the work of Catholic Education.

These resources are available on the CES website (catholiceducation.org.uk).

If you have any other questions regarding Education Sunday, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Alexandra Jarvis, Public Affairs Officer, 020 7901 1904 / ajarvis@catholiceducation.org.uk


 

CES TRAINING WORKSHOPS

Attached to this bulletin is information from the CES about FREE training being offered in the use of their contracts and other ‘mode’ documentation. I would strongly recommend that schools take up this offer. Booking details are included in the attached document.

Contact: Mike Pittendreigh 020 7798 9190 mikep@rcdow.org.uk


 

A Day on The Common Good

A day course on The Common Good is being held on Wednesday 12th March at Vaughan House. This is a popular and worthwhile course. Previous participants have described the day as:

“Very thought provoking and a real chance to be reminded about the purpose of Catholic Education” and “This course has opened my mind to many other things we could do with children. I feel inspired by the range of materials. Discussion today has been relevant and very practical.’ ‘Most importantly, this has reminded me of the fact that the Common Good is rooted in theology – it’s easy to lose sight of that!’

The day is open to colleagues in all schools of the Diocese and you are encouraged to send delegates to the day.

Contact details: John Williams, johnwilliams@rcdow.org.uk 020 7798 9005; 07912 480 992


 

FUTURE LEADERS PROGRAMME

We have been asked to circulate details of this programme, which comes highly recommended. Please see the note below from Future Leaders and the attached document.

Future Leaders is a fully-funded flagship leadership development programme. It is for school leaders who believe in our mission to eradicate educational disadvantage and have the talent and commitment to become headteachers of challenging schools within two to five years. Primary and secondary schools work with us by employing a Future Leader or developing an existing member of staff by nominating them to the programme. Participants on our programme demonstrate their impact through a focused school Impact Initiative that delivers real and sustainable change and are mentored by one of our experienced Leadership Development Advisers. Participants are also able to share the expertise of a wide and ever-growing network of like-minded peers across England and receive training throughout the year, to which they can also bring other members of their SLT. We are now accepting applications for Future Leaders 2014. Window 1 closes on Monday 13 Jan 2014; apply before then to be assessed during February/March 2014.

Contact Hannah Howard, London Regional Officer, via email or telephone on 020 3116 6399 if you have any questions


 

Admissions

Thank you to all schools for sending in your 2015-2016 admission arrangements. Consultation is now underway for those who have made amendments. The next step is to put admission arrangements on the agenda for your next governors’ meeting so that they can be determined by the full governing body. This has to be done before the end of this term. Then the policy and SIF can be sent to your LA (and the diocese) stating that they are determined and put on your school website.

Admission Appeals

Information about admission appeals must be put on schools’ websites by 28th February 2014.  This will give the final date for submission of appeals (a minimum of 20 school days from receipt of the refusal letter), the approximate date on which appeals will be heard e.g. last week in June, first week in July etc. and how to obtain an appeal form and further information.


 

Forthcoming Courses

Special Educational Needs Part 2 01/02/14

Admission Appeals 08/02/14

Compulsory Policies for Schools 01/03/14

Data Protection and Freedom of Information 01/03/14

Contact Mary Ryan, 020 7798 9005 maryryan@rcdow.org.uk


 

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! Please send your news to greenyl@rcdow.org.uk )

St Aloysius Junior School, Camden achieved the UNICEF Rights Respecting Level l Award; Good Shepherd Primary School, Hammersmith & St Joseph Primary School, Macklin Street, Camden, both of whom received letters from the Minister of State for Schools congratulating them on their exceptional performance in the 2013 Key Stage 2 test results.

Congratulations!