The Education Service

Schools Bulletin: November 2016

Dear Colleague in Catholic Education,

This month witnesses the closure of the Year of Mercy on the Feast of Christ the King on 20th November. What an extraordinary year it has been for the Church and our school communities. In our diocese thousands of students have actively been involved in school and college activities to celebrate and learn more about the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. As one door closes another is opened. The Education Service wishes to build a legacy for the Year of Mercy and ask all schools to share with their advisors how best to continue and develop the outstanding work that has already been done.

On Thursday 1st December all Headteachers and Chairs of Governors are welcome to attend the formal launch of the new diocesan Academy strategy and delivery programme, details of which have been sent to all schools and colleges. This is an evening to clarify, inform and provide published materials that will be taken back to schools and colleges for comment and action. It is the expectation of the Trustees that all schools and colleges are present at this meeting. I wish to address one key issue that has arisen from this process. There will be no forced Academisation. The diocese is providing the platform and support necessary to build a strategic and long term infrastructure for all our schools. It is very important that all schools and colleges attend this meeting and hear at the same time, the same message, as one community. There will be details announced regarding the intention of the diocese to develop and promote a Diocesan Company to support schools and colleges in the years ahead. We see this process as an opportunity to protect, support and secure our schools and colleges for the future. 

Our recent Headteachers’ Deanery Form meeting was very well received and we hope to develop this group to inform and discuss a wide range of issues that relate to our schools and colleges. We also were very pleased to host the very well attended and successful Primary Religious Education Coordinator meeting and Secondary Heads of Religious Education meeting. The Education Service has significantly increased the level of courses and training it provides this year and we are very grateful to all schools and colleges for releasing staff to attend these events during challenging financial times. Our commitment to develop our staff and governors is of paramount importance to us. Following the Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher Conferences last year, it was agreed that representatives would meet with the Director and Deputy Director to discuss how best to improve the content and format of these important occasions. I am delighted to announce that these meetings have taken place and details will be sent to you later this month outlining the proposed changes. 

In our drive to provide all schools and colleges with the highest levels of service we will be sending to you a Communication letter to ensure all the key individuals associated with your school or college contact details are correct and up to date. This will ensure key staff and governors receive the communication and publications from the Education Service and not have to rely on a third party to pass on key information. Alongside this strategy we are actively collating contact details of potential teachers to schools and colleges from recruitment fairs to be shared with schools and colleges in the New Year.

Our Primary RE Adviser Theresa O’Sullivan will begin her maternity leave later this month.  Our thoughts and best wishes are with Theresa and her family at this exciting time. Communication will be sent to primary schools shortly to explain the cover arrangements for Theresa’s absence. We have addressed the need for more staff within the Service and are delighted to announce the appointment of a new full time Primary RE Adviser.  Sinead Steed, from St James’ Primary School, Twickenham will join the Primary Advisory team in January.  We are very much looking forward to welcoming her and are convinced Sinead will make a valuable contribution to the service we provide to schools.

Thank you for all you are doing for Catholic education.   

With best wishes

JP Morrison, Director of Education

RSE Documents

New Catholic RSE documents have been sent to all schools and are available on the CES website.  http://www.catholiceducation.org.uk/guidance-for-schools/relationship-sex-education

  • The quality mark document indicates policies are compliant with Ofsted, in line with Church teaching and follow the correct processes. 
  • It is known that dated policies are now being scrutinised during Section 5 inspections.  Please ensure your RSE policy is up to date.
  • Schools modelling good practice will consult with parents at all stages and recognise parents as the primary educators of their children.

 Contact:  Amanda Crowley amandacrowley@rcdow.org.uk 02077989182

Courses on Religious Education and Catholic Life

Leading Collective Worship across the Primary Schools – Tuesday 22nd November – 1.30-3.30 - VH

So you think you would like to be a Primary Deputy Headteacher? – Thursday 24th November – 5-6.30pm - VH

Subject knowledge required to teach Years 5 and 6 in the Spring Term:       

  • YEAR 5 - The Way, the Truth and the Life – Wednesday 7th December – 2-3.30 NILAND
  • YEAR 6 - The Way, the Truth and the Life – Wednesday 7th December – 4.15-5.45 NILAND
  • YEAR 5 - The Way, the Truth and the Life - Thursday 8th December – 4.30 – 6PM - VH
  • YEAR 6 - The Way, the Truth and the Life – Tuesday 13th December – 4.30 – 6PM

 YEAR 5 - Come and See – Monday 28th November – 4.30 – 6PM - VH

  • YEAR 6 - Come and See – Monday 5th December – 4.30 – 6PM - VH
  • YEAR 5 - Come and See – Tuesday 6th December – 2-3.30 - NILAND
  • YEAR 6 - Come and See –Tuesday 6th December – 4.15-5.45 NILAND
  • YEAR 5+6 - Margaret Carswell’s units – Thursday 1st December – 4.30 – 6PM - VH
  • YEAR 5+6 - Margaret Carswell’s units – Wednesday 14th December – 4.15 – 5.45 – NILAND

Contact:  Amanda Crowley amandacrowley@rcdow.org.uk 02077989182

Governors’ Conference

Please do make members of your Governing Body aware that there is a Governors’ Conference taking place on Saturday 10th December at Vaughan House – 9.30-3.30. 

Booking forms have been sent to schools and should be completed and sent to margarettheissl@rcdow.org.uk  

Contact:  Amanda Crowley amandacrowley@rcdow.org.uk 02077989182

Admissions

Thank you to all the schools that have already sent in their admission policies and SIFs. Please would those who have not yet done so send them in as soon as possible. Many thanks.

Enquiries to maryryan@rcdow.org.uk

REMINDER

Please ensure that the Diocese is informed of potential headship, deputy headship and Head of RE / Re Co-ordinator appointments before dates are arranged. A representative from the Diocese must attend these interviews.

Contact: Mike Pittendreigh, mikep@rcdow.org.uk

ATTACHMENTS

  • Invitation attached to book launch at Heythrop College: Vatican II and New Thinking about Catholic education on 7th December 2016
  • Information attached from the Global Learning Network
  • Letter from St Mary’s University, Twickenham, inviting attendance at a conference on “Religion, Identity and Conflict” being held on 2nd and 3rd December 2016

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 to St Ignatius College, Enfield on receiving the Gold Award from Healthy Schools for London.  They are the only secondary school in Enfield to have received this award; St Benedict’s Senior School, Ealing, one of their sixth form students, Caroline Gakpetor, won the final of the European Youth Debating Competition which was held in Budapest early last month.  Caroline said: “It was an honour to represent the UK in this competition, and the experience of debating in Budapest, against students of 8 nationalities was great fun”; St Mark’s Catholic School, Hounslow achieved a Progress 8 score of 0.76 which has placed the school at the 25th in the country (6,382 schools).

 

Many congratulations!