The Education Service

Schools Bulletin: June 2017

Dear Colleague in Catholic Education,

The last month or so has been an incredibly challenging time for our city and our community. The fire at Grenfell Tower directly affected 7 of our schools and colleges and indirectly many more through family and friend contacts who lived there. St Francis of Assisi Catholic Primary School, Notting Hill had to be evacuated from the initial cordon and have been temporarily relocated at Sion Manning Catholic School for Girls, Ladbroke Grove. There has been an overwhelming surge of support and solidarity with those schools directly affected. On Friday 23rd June many of our schools will be hosting a non-uniform day to help raise funds for the Catholic Children Society Emergency Relief Fund to help victims within our community.  The Education Service is deeply grateful and appreciative of all the work done by schools and colleges to help those in need. Pope Francis has expressed sadness at the news of the fire that destroyed Grenfell Tower and has offered 'his heartfelt condolences to their families'. He prayed for the 'Lord's loving mercy' on the souls of those who died. Commending emergency service personnel and all who have rallied to support the victims and their families, he invoked 'upon the local community God's blessings of strength and peace'.

The full message was relayed in a letter from Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, to Cardinal Vincent Nichols:

'His Holiness Pope Francis was saddened to learn of the devastating fire in London and of the tragic loss of life and injury. He entrusts the souls of those who have died to the Lord's loving mercy and offers his heartfelt condolences to their families. With appreciation of the brave efforts of the emergency service personnel and all committed to supporting those who have lost their homes, His Holiness invokes upon the local community God's blessings of strength and peace.'

In June we launch the new CPD Booklet for 2017 /18 and this will arrive in schools this week. The ability to book online for these courses will be available in September, but we wanted schools and colleges to have the dates in order to prepare accordingly for the new academic calendar. The new address to enquire anything to do with courses and training is eduemc@rcdow.org.uk and from July 3rd the key contact will be Mr Francis Leeder who is our new Events and Marketing Coordinator.

The Education Service is delighted to announce that there are three new Primary RE Advisors who will be starting in September. Mrs Diana Roberts, Ms Grace Anderson and Mrs Elaine Arundell will be joining the Advisory team and bring with them a great deal of experience and insight into Catholic Primary education. We look forward to welcoming them.

On Thursday 6th July we will be hosting the annual Headteacher Mass and Celebration of Service event at the Cathedral at 5.30pm followed by a reception in Cathedral Hall. Details will be sent to schools on Monday 26th June. All serving Headteachers are invited to attend. 

Nigel Spears is collating the pupil data collection information that has been requested from all schools and colleges. If your school or college has still to submit this information please do so as soon as possible. The whole community needs to be aware of patterns of applications to our schools and it is vital we have this information. My thanks to those who have completed this request but to those of you who have yet to do so, please ensure this is done by June 30th at the latest.

Later this term new guidance on Admissions will be published and sent to schools following the successful conclusion to the challenge by the OSA to adopt the Certificate of Catholic Practice (CCP) in our schools and colleges. The Education Service has worked closely with the OSA, the DfE and the CES to reach an agreement that allows the continued use of the CCP. Full details will be sent to schools and colleges in July.    

In all of the challenges we have been facing children and young adults are still learning and still experiencing the witness to our faith in everything we do. The Education Service is extremely grateful to all of you who have prepared students for public examinations. Many schools are actively involved in school journeys and sports days and the routines of the summer are so important and valued.  

However, you also have to deal with young people reacting to fear and violence in our diocese in light of a series of tragic events that have terror at their core. But we know that what we offer is different. What we offer reaches out to the whole community of all faiths and none. Cardinal Nichols reminds us of the importance of our role as builders within our communities. He said, “We must all be builders of understanding, compassion and peace, day by day, in our homes, our work and our communities. That is the only way.”     

Thank you for all you hard work and dedication to Catholic education. Our thoughts, prayers and commitment to support all those affected by tragedy and fear in our diocese will never be diminished. You are all doing a fantastic job to be the light in the dark.   

With best wishes.

 JP Morrison

Director of Education

CPD Programme 2017/18

Two hard copies of the CPD programme for next academic year have been sent to each school, along with an A3 overview chart.  One copy of the CPD programme is for members of the Governing Body.  We are aware that governors are often not aware of the training opportunities available to them.  Please could this booklet be made available at each meeting of the governing body, and attendance at training encouraged.

As you are aware we have been trialling an online booking system this term.  The current system has not quite met our specific requirements and we are exploring an alternative which will be in place for September.  Please review the opportunities available and secure the dates in your diary.  We will be in touch with details of how to make a booking at the beginning of the next academic year.

Contact: Amanda Crowley, amandacrowley@rcdow.org.uk, 020 7798 9182

Pre-Inspection Day for Primary Schools – 29th June - Vaughan House

This is a day dedicated to helping primary schools who are due diocesan inspection in the academic year 2017/2018.  We would recommend that every school due inspection sends at least one representative to this day.  We expect each school to bring the most current version of their diocesan SEF.  There will be a nominal £25 charge for this session.

Booking is at Pre Inspection Day

Contact: Amanda Crowley, amandacrowley@rcdow.org.uk, 020 7798 9182

Primary Religious Education Coordinator Meetings

Please could Headteachers release their RE Coordinator for a termly deanery meeting.   We are aware that RE Coordinators in some deaneries meet regularly and enjoy a strong practice of collaboration and sharing.  We hope to ensure this becomes a consistent practice across the diocese.

Please could each deanery determine dates for the RE Co-ordinators to meet for the 2017/18 and send these directly to Amanda Crowley by the end of June so we can ensure a diocesan adviser is available to attend each meeting.

Contact: Amanda Crowley, amandacrowley@rcdow.org.uk, 020 7798 9182

Heads of RE Conference - 29th-30th June 2017

The secondary advisors are very excited about the upcoming Heads of RE Conference which will be taking place on Thursday 29th and Friday 30th June at Chartridge Lodge in Chesham. There is a packed programme which includes discussion and moderation of the new RE GCSEs and A Levels. There will also be presentations on how to making the teaching of theology exciting and how to understand religious art. It is also an important opportunity to share good practice and network with other Heads of RE from across the Diocese. All Heads of RE are encouraged to attend and can book a place using the following link: Head of RE Conference

Contact: Claire O'Neill, claireoneill@rcdow.org.uk, 0207798 9005

Assessment Update

The assessment and curriculum working party are meeting to organise a pilot of the new skills based assessment document for “life after levels” shortly.  Schools are welcome to join this pilot in the next academic year. It must be stressed however that there is a great deal of work still to be done to produce a document that is a useful and practical assessment tool.  The pilot will be a necessary process to help shape and develop this and detailed feedback will be required following the trial. If you would like to be involved in the pilot, bearing in mind the workload implications, please contact Trisha Hedley.

Contact: Trisha Hedley trishahedley@rcdow.org.uk 02077989005

RSE Working Party

A diocesan RSE working party has been formed drawing on expertise from practitioners, Catholic HEIs and the PSHE Association with a view to creating a scheme of work and accompanying resources for primary and secondary schools based on the model curriculum documents distributed earlier in the year.   The intention is to offer a comprehensive training schedule once the resource is complete and ready to be piloted in schools.

Contact: Trisha Hedley trishahedley@rcdow.org.uk 02077989005

ADMISSIONS

It is time to consider Admission Policies and Supplementary Information Forms for 2019 – 2020. Governors are asked to review these documents either this term or very early next term in order to comply with statutory guidelines and the new timetable. Policies and SIFs should be sent to the diocese, noting any changes that governors wish to make. The documents must be sent to the diocese even if governors do not intend to make any changes. Those schools that wish to make changes to their policy or SIF must go out to consultation for 6 weeks between 1st October 2017 – 31st January 2018.

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

GOVERNOR TRAINING

The following governor training will take place at Vaughan House in July:

Special Educational Needs Procedures on Saturday July 1st 2017.

Complaints Procedures on Saturday July 8th 2017.

To book a place on these courses please go to the Eventbrite website (follow Diocese of Westminster, then the name of the course you wish to book.)

Governors are strongly advised to provide a personal email and contact phone number when booking a course in case of alterations to the programme.

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

Capital

LCVAP 2017/18: The Education Commission is pleased to publish the Commission Briefing Paper entitled LCVAP Update and Dated 26th May 2016. It can be found as an attachment to this bulletin and contains information relating to process, prioritisation and allocation.

Contact: Nigel Spears (AD – Capital Strategy and Pupil Placement Planning)

Email: nigelspears@rcdow.org.uk Mobile: 07738183828

Pupil Placement Planning

We would like to thank those colleagues that submitted the required data on time. Your support and assistance is greatly appreciated. However, there are a number of submissions that are late.

Urgent – For Immediate Action:

The return date for data relating to the children and young people who applied for admission into Reception (Primary) or Year 7 Secondary in September 2017 was Thursday 8 June.

Currently, there are a number of schools that have not submitted a return. Data from every individual school/academy is crucial. They, in conjunction with the datasets submitted by Catholic Schools/Academies throughout the Diocese, combine together to create an evidential dataset that is used to support our strategic planning negotiations. As with any jigsaw, every piece is vital if the completed picture is to be revealed. One missing piece undermines the integrity of the whole dataset. The data supplied by your school/academy provides useful evidence relating to Catholic (and non-Catholic) demand for access to our schools and it is used by Education Service Colleagues when negotiating with Local Authority and National Government advocates on behalf of our schools and academies.

•             School Leaders – Please check that the person assigned to complete this task on your behalf has complied with your instructions.

•             Chair of Governors – Please seek confirmation from the Head Teacher and/or the School’s Business Manager that the required data has been submitted.

If you have not submitted your return, please ensure that it sent to Nigel Spears before Friday 30th June. Further information relating to this request for information can be found in the Education Service Bulletins published in January, March and May 2017.

An Excel Workbook Template, that can be used to support your submission (originally supplied in May), can be downloaded from the “Related Files” box that is adjacent to the online version of this bulletin.

Contact: Nigel Spears (AD – Capital Strategy and Pupil Placement Planning)

Email: nigelspears@rcdow.org.uk Mobile: 07738183828

Condition Data Collection Programme

The DfE and ESFA have started the latest round of data gathering in relation to the condition of the combined schools estate in England and Wales. The DfE/ESFA use the data to secure condition funding from the Treasury and to allocation funding to address targeted or generic condition needs in community schools, VA schools, and academies.

One of the organisations engaged by the Government to deliver this programme will contact you to arrange a visit to your site. The engagement process is expected to take up to 3 years to complete and, whilst we know that some colleagues have already been contacted, other schools/academies will be assigned to later waves and you may not hear anything from the data collection teams for some months.

An example letter is attached for your information and can be downloaded from Related Files.

Contact: Nigel Spears (AD – Capital Strategy and Pupil Placement Planning)

Email: nigelspears@rcdow.org.uk Mobile: 07738183828

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 )

Congratulations also to Our Lady’s Convent High School for Girls, Hackney Student Comes Second Out of Hackney in Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge. Elisha Eseigbe wowed the judges at the Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge. The year 10 student at Our Lady’s Convent was runner up at the 2016-17 “Speak Out” Challenge Hackney Regional Finals, with a speech entitled ‘Am I Black Enough?’ OLCHS entered two amazing girls, Elisha and Emma Owens - both finalists in the Hackney regional finals.

Many congratulations!