The Education Service

Schools Bulletin: June 2016

Catholic education plays a significant and important role in our society. As a result of what happened in the European Referendum we must reaffirm our values and our role for the benefit of all. Cardinal Vincent Nichols' statement calling for renewed purpose must be shared with our school community. Our schools are cohesive and inclusive. The evidence of racism and hatred directed towards individuals in our Diocese must be challenged and we need to renew with vigour our purpose for the common good. Our community has gained so much strength and experience through its diversity and roots in the wider international Catholic community. Our schools need to reflect the welcome and openness expressed by Christ and witnessed in the gospels. All individuals regardless of background and identity are welcomed and accepted into the Catholic school community. In the years ahead we must work together to demonstrate to all that we seek a world where all who work and learn in our schools and colleges feel safe and accepted.   

Following discussions with our Secondary Schools the organised pilgrimage to Westminster Cathedral on 2nd July for the Year of Mercy has been postponed until the autumn term. Further details will be sent to schools in early July. 

The Education Service would like to invite you to this year’s Diocesan Headteachers’ Mass and Celebration to be held at Westminster Cathedral on Monday 11th July at 5.30pm. 

You are invited to attend Mass at 5.30pm followed by drinks and canapes at Cathedral Hall afterwards.

This is our opportunity to come together as a community to say thank you and good bye to those colleagues either retiring or moving on to pastures new. This year has witnessed 23 changes in Headship across our Diocese and we welcome all of you to join us in thanking them for their dedication to Catholic education and their service to our community. 

Bishop Sherrington will be the celebrant. He will be stepping down from chairing the Education Commission in August of this year to continue his role as Moderator of the Curia. This is also an opportunity to thank him for his years of service to Catholic education as well. 

Many have felt that taking a day out of school so late in the term is problematic therefore we have decided to have our celebration after school in order for more to attend. Please do so. Please inform Margaret Theissl, Course and Conference Secretary, at Education Service. If you wish to bring your Deputy or Chair of Governors they too are welcome.   

I am delighted to announce that the Education Service has appointed Trisha Hedley as our new Secondary Adviser for Religious Education and Catholic Life. Trisha currently works at the Cardinal Wiseman Secondary School, Ealing and will be joining the team in September.

On July 1st Amanda Crowley takes up the position of Deputy Director for the Education Service and we wish her every success in her new role.

Thank you for all you are doing to support and promote Catholic education.

With best wishes

JP Morrison

Director of Education

 

SUCCESSION PLANNING & SENIOR LEADERSHIP DATABASE

At present, the only information we have about the senior leadership of our schools is that which is contained in the original application form submitted for the post. In so many cases this is completely out of date and presents problems should an emergency occur – i.e. something happens at the weekend or over the holidays etc. We will, therefore, be contacting you shortly to ask you to let us have up to date information. Once this is on our database, we will then send it to you for annual updating. All the information you give will be treated in the strictest confidence and will only be available to Director level Education personnel.

Whilst we are collecting this information on our senior leaders we thought it would be helpful to add further data which will help with succession planning. Having a database containing the age of all our heads will help us plan ahead; knowing the gender balance will help us monitor employment practice; knowing whether a head/ deputy head/ assistant head would be willing to be seconded to another school temporarily and subject to governor approval would be immensely helpful. Finally, we will try and collect information about senior personnel who may be willing / ready for promotion, although the submission of this data will be optional.

You will receive a request for this information electronically over the next week or two. We would ask that you give this a priority as it could prove invaluable to enabling the diocese to provide the level of support it should be doing in the increasingly difficult area of senior leadership recruitment.

Further information: Mike Pittendreigh, mikep@rcdow.org.uk

Admissions

Now is the time to look at admission arrangements for 2018-19 and decide whether or not changes are to be made. Please update your policy and SIF and send them to the diocese indicating what, if anything has been changed.

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

Admission Appeals

A reminder that the Education Service hold a list of people trained to sit on admission appeals panels. This list is available to governors on request.

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

Complaints Procedures

There is governor training on complaints procedure training at Vaughan House on 2nd July 2016: 10.00am – 1.00pm. This training is for all governors and for staff members involved in the complaints procedure.

To register please contact margarett@rcdow.org.uk

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

CAPITAL ISSUES

Health and Safety

Unsolicited Approaches: We have been advised that a company called Precision Safety Services Ltd. has been contacting Catholic Schools in Westminster to offer their services. Please be advised that, whilst the company does have a relationship with the Diocese, they have not been granted permission to approach school and academies. Health and Safety is an integral part of asset management and advice to schools should be available from your retained building consultants. Over the next few months, we will review the level and consistency of advice available to all schools and academies and develop services based on our findings.

For further information please email nigelspears@rcdow.org.uk

Pupil Placement Planning

Reminder: The designated date for this year’s application/allocation survey was Thursday 9 June 2016. Unfortunately, less than 50% of school have complete this submission. Governors and Trustees, we would be grateful if you could confirm with your school’s/academy’s leadership team and/or Business Manager that the required return has been submitted. Carol Campbell from the Education Service will be contacting those school that have not completed their submission in support of this campaign. Details relating to this survey and the associated submission can be found in the March 2016 Bulletin. If you have any questions relating to this survey, please email nigelspears@rcdow.org.uk

Insurance

Reminder: The standing order from the Diocesan Trustees on this matter is that every school in the Diocesan Trust must purchase the full package as facilitated by the CCIA. The CCIA will review alternative packages and advise on their suitability. Some schools have successfully persuaded the CCIA that their package:

•          Reflects the interests of the school and the diocesan trustees

•          Offers the same provision for less cost, or

•          Offers better provision for the same cost

Schools that are not in the Diocesan Trust are not subject to the Standing Order and can select their own insurance packages.

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

Inspection Update

The Diocese of Westminster Framework for Inspection sets out a 5 year inspection cycle for schools judged to be good or outstanding. However, as there has been a backlog, schools have generally been inspected within 5 years and one term. Over recent years, there has been an increase in the number of inspections each term and so from next academic year, the original 5 year cycle is to be re-established. There will be a few schools inspected next term who are the last of the ‘5 years and 1 term cycle’, but all others judged good or outstanding in the academic year 2011 – 2012 should expect to be inspected during the academic year 2016 – 2017.

Contact: Jane Goring, Chief Inspector, janegoring@rcdow.org.uk 07710 088910

TRAINING OPPORTUNITY

Please see booking forms attached for high quality training being offered by St James’ High School in Barnet.

Further information: dmarco@st-james.barnet.sch.uk

 

Good News Slot

(Please note: this section of the Communique 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 )

Many Congratulations St Anne’s High School for Girls, Enfield have won an Educational Outcomes Award from the SSAT (Schools, Students and Teachers Network) for coming in the top 10% of non-selective schools nationally for attainment and progress in the 2015 end of KS4 examinations; St Thomas of Canterbury School in Fulham who won first prize in the prestigious David Shepherd International Art Award.

 

Many congratulations!