Dear Colleague in Catholic Education,
On behalf of the Education Service may the blessings and joy and hope that come with Easter be with your whole school community this term. As we approach the General Election the whole of Catholic education will be examining very carefully what impact it will have on our schools and governors. We hope that whoever takes on the role of Education Secretary will recognise the outstanding work being done throughout our Diocese to raise standards in Education and the development of the whole child both in faith and character. There are challenges we face together. We need to be in a position to expand and open new schools to meet the growing need throughout our Diocese.
This term the Diocese is working closely with the CES, Brentwood and Southwark Dioceses to revise and update the Admissions Policy in light of challenges that some of our schools have faced. Once this work has been completed all governing bodies and Headteachers will be informed of the proposed changes.
One of the biggest challenges we face as a Diocese is succession planning. We need to nurture and develop our future leaders. During this term we hold the annual Deputies conference and all will be invited to attend to address three key challenges – why the role of Headteacher in a Catholic School is such a wonderful opportunity; what support future leaders will require in the months and years ahead to help them take on the challenge; to demonstrate where the outstanding practice currently is and how the Diocese hopes to use this expertise for the benefit of others.
In April the Diocese successfully bid to become a sponsorship vehicle to help further those schools in Requires Improvement or Special Measures. This brought with it significant funding that will be used to broker support and pay for our community to work together for those who will benefit most. More detail will be communicated to schools this term.
Many of you will remember Headteacher Cathy Nathan, an outstanding servant to Catholic education for many years, who sadly passed away on 17th April. The Diocese wishes to pay tribute to her and her family and that her loss is greatly felt across our community. Also please remember in your prayers James Pettifer and his family and the wonderful school community of Sacred Heart Language College, Harrow. James also sadly passed away and was an exceptional talent and was only 31. May both of them Rest in Peace.
Thank you for all you are doing for our students, staff, governors and families in Catholic Education.
With best wishes
Director of Education
Please make contact with Mike Pittendreigh as soon as you become aware of a vacancy at Headteacher or Deputy Headteacher level. It would be most helpful if dates for interviews etc. were not set until arrangements have been made with the person from the Diocese appointed to support the governors in the appointment process.
Contact: Mike Pittendreigh firstname.lastname@example.org
Reconstitution of the Governing Body
Most schools have now submitted their chosen model of governance to the Diocese and have received their draft Instrument of Government.
Admissions Timetable 2015-16 (for academic year 2017-18)
The new admissions timetable (attached) begins this year. Governing Bodies are urged to consider their 2017-18 policy and SIF at the summer term 2015 governing body meeting.
The updated model SIFs and policies are attached and will shortly be on the diocesan website. If the policy and SIF are to remain the same then all that needs to be done is for the dates to be amended, then the policy and SIF can be sent to the diocese.
If you have made changes or have not consulted since 2010 (even if no changes have been made) you will need to go out to general consultation. The new rule for consultation is for 6 weeks between 1st October 2015 and 31st January 2016. Hence the need to begin the process this term.
It is the season for appeals and we need more volunteers to train to sit on an appeals panel or act as clerk. There will be a course for governors and others, which fulfils the statutory training requirements, on Saturday 16th May 2015 at Vaughan House.
To register please email email@example.com
There is a short course for presenting officers, giving information and resources to those presenting the school’s case to the appeals panel. It is useful for all Heads and members of the admissions committee. It takes place on Wednesday 10th June 1.30-4.30pm at Vaughan House.
To register please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Exclusions and Exclusion Appeals
A course for all governors and senior staff, looking at the ‘new’ exclusion procedures, will take place on Saturday 4th July 10.00am – 3.00pm at Vaughan House. To register please email email@example.com
Pupil Placement Planning
Within the next few weeks we will be contacting schools and academies to undertake our annual survey of applications to Reception and Y7. This survey will focus on pupils who are expected to start the primary or secondary phase of their education in September 2015. The designated date for this survey is Thursday 4 June 2015
Registered Email Address
Please check that the email address you have registered for use with the Technology Forge System is still correct. A list of all registered email addresses is attached to this bulletin. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to change this address. It is important that this address is correct because:
- Documentation relating to the 2015 survey will be sent to the registered address
- New Passwords are automatically sent to the registered address
Requested Information: this survey relates to Admissions. Therefore, you are asked to confirm the details of every applicant, including those who were unsuccessful. Last year, it was extremely helpful for the Education Service to be able to identify Catholic Children who failed to secure a place at a Catholic school despite being the subject of an application to one or more of our schools. The collective intelligence from all schools has enabled us to engage with Local Authority colleagues with clear evidence of under capacity in the Catholic School provision in certain areas of our Diocese. We appreciate that it is unusual for Schools and Academies to be asked for information about unsuccessful applicants but, in determining the real issues that must be addressed by our Catholic Community, that information is vital.
This year, the main information that each school/academy will be asked to supply is as follows:
- The date of birth of every applicant (successful or unsuccessful)
- The postcode of every applicant
- The Unique Pupil Number (UPN) for every applicant (If known – This information may not be available for every applicant for a place in Reception but please do include the UPN when it is known)
- Whether the applicant was a Catholic (Baptismal Certificate)
- Whether the applicant has accepted the offer of a place at your school for September 2015
If you have any questions relating to the 2015 Admissions (PPP) Survey, please email
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 email@example.com )
Many Congratulations to St Bernadette Primary School, London Colney Hertfordshire on being awarded worthy winners at the “Outstanding Primary PE” Award at the National Innovation Awards at the Youth Sports Trust 2015 Conference. The award was in acknowledgement of the high quality, broad and balanced PE curriculum and the progress made by all its pupils in this respect; La Sainte Union Secondary School, Camden on receiving letter from Minister of State for Schools, David Laws MP congratulating them on their disadvantaged pupils results at key stage 4 since 2011; in addition the Minister acknowledged that the percentage of their pupils achieving five or more A*-C grade GCSEs (or equivalent) including English and Mathematics means that they are one of the top 100 performing non-selective state funded schools in England; finally the school has also been proven to be one of the top 90 in England showing the greatest sustained improvement in the percentage of pupils achieving this measure; Gunnersbury Boys School, Hounslow who also received a letter from the Minister of State for Schools congratulating them on winning £5000 in the key stage 4 category of the Pupil Premium Awards 2015; the Minister also congratulated the school on being one of the top 100 non-selective comprehensive schools in the country; St Mark’s Secondary School, Hounslow who received two letters from the Minister of State for Schools Office; the first one being in the top 100 non selective state schools in the country for key stage 2 to 4 value added, for the percentage of students gaining 5+A*-C including English and Maths, for the greatest sustained improvement in this measure and for the attainment and value added progress of disadvantaged pupils; the school’s second letter was sent by Nick Gibb who congratulated them on being in the top 100 for the percentage of student achieving the English Baccalaureate; finally St Mark’s a non-selective comprehensive was listed 15th in the country in the recent Sunday Times list; St Anne’s High School for Girls, Enfield have won two SSAT Educational Awards for exceptional attainment and progress. The awards are to recognise the school for being in the top 10% of non-selective schools nationally for attainment, based on their students best 8 average point scores and are also in the top 10% of schools nationally for value-added progress. The school will receive their Awards at a celebration evening which takes place next month. St Joseph’s School, Camden, were a National Finalist in the KS2 Pupil Premium Awards 2015. Amongst other rewards, the school was awarded a prize of £50,000. This is a very significant achievement.
Congratulations to all.