The Education Service

School Bulletin: March 2012

From Paul Barber


Paul Barber

Director of Education

020 7798 9005

100 Days of Peace

The theme chosen by Pope Benedict XVI for Peace Sunday this year (15th January) was 'Educating Young People in Justice and Peace'. Working for justice and peace is an essential part of the calling of all Christians and the challenges are tough for young people in the UK who want to build a fairer and a more peaceful world, following a year that saw rioting take place across our country. As we look ahead we anticipate the Olympic and Paralympic Games, when the eyes of the world will be on the UK. The Catholic bishops of Westminster, Southwark and Brentwood have called for a time of peace-building before, during and after the Games so that we can play our part in making London a better place after the Games than it was before them. Young people are being especially encouraged to train in the virtues of peace-building that make the Games possible, just as the athletes are in training for the sporting competition itself. Following the successful launch of the 100 Days of Peace initiative at the Education Mass at Westminster Cathedral on 7th October, many schools have taken up the ideas suggested in the schools resource book 'Release Peace'. Colette Joyce, from Westminster Justice and Peace Commission, is keen to hear from all schools in the diocese about any projects they are undertaking to mark the 100 Days of Peace. She is also very happy to visit schools to give workshops or extended assemblies. To contact Colette please call: 020 8888 4222 or Email:

Links: 100 Days of Peace website:

Video of Archbishop Vincent Nichols' homily for the Education Mass:

Heads of Religious Education Conference (July 5th – 6th 2012)

As stated in the December bulletin, please book early for the Conference in Kensington. We need to confirm numbers VERY early this year due to hotel capacity being limited during the build up to the Olympics. Thank you.

Flame Congress

We have been asked to alert you to the Olympic build-up with the following advert for the Flame Congress.

Flame Congress: Brilliant opportunity for Confirmation Groups and School Years 10 – 13. Flame Congress is the largest ever event for young Catholics in England and Wales, taking place in Wembley Arena on 24th March 2012. With nearly 6,500 tickets sold, the Arena is filling up and now is the time to book. Throughout the day there will be excellent input from speakers such as Fr Christopher Jamison, Barry and Margaret Mizen, Fr Timothy Radcliffe, and a number of Olympians and Paralympians. Interspersed with this will be music from Edwin Fawcett (who animated some of the music for the Papal Visit at Hyde Park), drama from RISE theatre, and much more. The day will be MC’d by Paschal Uche (the young man who greeted the Pope on the steps of the Cathedral) and David Wells, who has presented to similar gatherings in Los Angeles. It should be a magnificent day – excellent input which is both celebratory and thought provoking, in a really uplifting atmosphere – and through it all, Christ at the centre. The day will finish with a time of Adoration led by Archbishop Vincent.

Booking details and lots more information can be found at:

GTP and Teachers of Religious Education

We keep a list of individuals who are looking for a Religious Education appointment in the diocese; please alert us if you think we can help. Occasionally we receive details from Catholic teachers offering other secondary subjects also. Again, let us know if you have a vacancy.

Contact: Stephen Horsman 020 7798 9005


The new School Admissions and School Admission Appeals Codes have now been published.  These Codes apply to all schools, including Academies. The School Admissions Code applies to admissions in September 2013 and all procedures relating to those admissions. The School Admission Appeals Code 2012 is already in force and applies to this year’s appeals. A new provision is that parents now have 20 school days from the date of receipt of the letter of refusal in which to lodge their appeal. Governors and Head Teachers are reminded that admission arrangements for 2013-2014, that have been seen by the Diocese, should now go to the full governing body for determination by the end of this term.  Please send the determined 2013-2014 arrangements to the LA and the Diocese before 15th April 2012 (n.b. this falls in the Easter holidays.)  The arrangements (policy and SIF) should then be displayed on your school website. The admissions and admission appeals related courses for this and next term are listed below. Useful resources will be provided at all these courses.  I would encourage schools to invite their parish priest and any other priest who signs the reference form, to attend one of the courses for priests if they have not already done so.  Apply to

Admission Appeals –  28th April (10.00am – 3.00pm)

Presenting Officers (presenting school’s case to appeals panel) 12th May (1.30 – 3.30pm) and  26th May (10.00am -12.30pm)

Admissions for Priests –  21st March (2.00pm – 4.00pm). No charge for this course.

Contact: Mary Ryan 020 7798 9005

Complaints Procedures

A course designed to assist with handling complaints, from first contact up to an appeals panel hearing.

All schools must have a designated member of staff to deal with complaints.  This course is helpful for that teacher and for senior management and governors.  Most difficulties arise because procedure has not been properly followed and this course aims to simplify the steps to be taken by staff and governors in order to resolve the complaint at the earliest stage.

This course is on 12th May 10.00am – 1.00pm.  Apply to

Contact: Mary Ryan 020 7798 9005


LCVAP 2012/13: Many thanks to the school that submitted a condition bid proposal for consideration. We have been evaluating the proposals and negotiating contributions from the respective local authorities. Attached to this bulletin is a provisional list of LCVAP Grants.

This list is subject to change and schools are advised to await receipt of the formal LCVAP offer letter before entering incurring costs.

Academies Capital Maintenance Fund 2012-13: The Academies Capital Maintenance Fund 2012-13 opened for applications on 1 March, with a four week application window. All Academies open on or before 1 March 2012 are eligible to apply in this bidding round. Academies which do so will not be eligible to apply for funding in later 2012-13 bidding round(s), which will primarily be for those Academies opening later in the year. The priorities of the fund have been extended to cover applications from successful, popular Academies wishing to expand their existing facilities and floor space so that they can accommodate more pupils within their existing age range, in addition to those with significant and urgent needs in terms of the building condition and/or health and safety issues. Academies will receive notification by email and in the YPLA E-bulletin on the assessment criteria that will be used to prioritise applications, and on completing the web-based application form. Further information will also be provided on the piloting of allocations to the larger Academy chains. If awarded, this funding would be paid at 100% and the academy trusts will be able to reclaim the VAT paid on the project in accordance with the following guidance:

Where appropriate, the Academy Trustees will be in discussion with Diocesan Finance to ensure that Academies can to access the support systems that have been available to VA school colleagues. 

If you need further information on LCVAP, Academies Maintenance or other capital finding options, please contact Nigel Spears


The Trustees of the Diocese of Westminster were presented with a briefing paper on an insurance strategy to address the current vulnerability in school building insurance cover. Some months ago, the Bishop’s Conference invited the CCIA and others to develop a school buildings insurance solution that protected Trust assets and observed the principle of “the common good”. In response to this commission, the CCIA established the “Catholic Schools, Academies and Colleges Property Insurance Scheme”, using the Catholic National Mutual Ltd and Zurich Municipal as co-insurers.

The Diocesan Trustees are satisfied that the CCIA offer provides appropriate surety for both Trustees and Governing Bodies on matters relating to Building Insurance. Therefore, it is proposed that, as from September 2012, this package will become the required cover for any school operating on a site in the freehold of, or leased to, the Trustees of the Diocese of Westminster. The Trustees appreciate that some schools may be partway through an existing insurance contract and therefore, migration to the new “required” scheme is likely to take a number of months. However, in consideration of the number of schools that are currently uninsured, under insured, or only insured for 10%, the scheme will become operational from April 1 2012 and the charges adjusted pro rata.

Governing bodies seeking exemption from the Trustees’ required scheme will be able to submit detailed evidence about their proposed alternative for the Trustees to consider. A letter requesting exemption must be submitted to the Diocesan Education Service by 1 May. Approval confirmation will be issued on 1 June. Governors will need to secure written quotations from established commercial insurance companies. Unfortunately, options underwritten by local authorities will not be accepted.

The Diocese of Westminster has been working in partnership with other Catholic Diocese to persuade the insurance market to consider our combined assets when determining risks and premiums. This is primarily because, for some school in high risk areas, insurance premiums were unacceptably high. However, when included in a package that promoted the common good, the premiums became much more reasonable.


The Diocese of Westminster is currently seeking the most appropriate method for managing payments etc. Following consultation with schools, the CCIA and diocesan colleagues, the preferred model will be communicated to all parties via the Diocesan Bulletin. In addition to Capital Insurance, schools and academies are required to have in place a plethora of other insurances. Priority has been given to securing an appropriate Capital Asset Insurances Scheme but the CCIA has also been developing a more holistic offer to Catholic Schools. At this time, it is likely that schools will need to discuss their specific needs with CCIA and others in order to test the market and secure the most appropriate cover. We are encouraging the CCIA to develop a preferential rate for those schools that have purchased the School Building Cover. Please see the attached information sheet from the CCIA for further details and contact information.

The CCIA Capital Asset Insurance Scheme is available to all Catholic Schools, not just those in the Diocesan General Trust. Religious Order Schools, Sixth Form Colleges and Independent School are encouraged to consider the advantages of this scheme and to discuss insurance requirements with their own Trustees as required.

Please see the attached excel worksheet for details of the projected premium for each school. Sixth Form Colleges and Independent Schools are omitted from the list because they are not normally eligible for LCVAP funding and therefore their 2011 PLASC Data was not available through the usual DfE sources. The CCIA will be pleased to assist and confirm premiums. VA schools in the Trusteeship of Religious Orders have been included in the list for completeness but, as previously stated, there is no compulsion for them to pursue this option.

If you need further information on Insurance, please contact Nigel Spears

Paul Haddon RIP

We are sorry to report the recent death of Paul Haddon. Paul worked as an advisor for the diocese when the service was based in Great Peter Street.

May he rest in peace. Please keep Paul’s family in your prayers.

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!)

Congratulations to St Margaret Clitherow Primary School, Stevenage for achieving Hertfordshire’s Anti-Bullying Accreditation and also for winning “Stevenage in Bloom”, Our Lady’s Convent High School, Hackney for being awarded the London Citizens School of the Year Award – this was presented to the school for their commitment to justice and for being involved in practical projects to improve the lives of its students and their neighbours;  St John Fisher Primary School, Perivale who have been shortlisted as one of the finalists for the Church School Awards; Pope Paul Primary School, Hatfield have achieved the Fairtrade Accredition the second time – they are one of only a handful of schools in Hertfordshire that has this status.