The Education Service

School Bulletin: October 2010

From Paul Barber


Paul Barber

Director of Education

020 7798 9005

The Year of Catholic Education 2010-2011

The Holy Father’s first state visit to the United Kingdom was a great success. One of the highlights for those of us involved in Education was the “Big Assembly” at St Mary’s University College in our own Diocese. Those of you who came will know of the generous hospitality of our two nearest schools, St Catherine’s and St James’ on that day. One of the marks of this Papal Visit was that many people got to hear the Pope speaking in his own words, without mediation by others. In that spirit I can do no better than remind you of his words to the pupils in our schools that he spoke on that occasion.

‘In your Catholic schools, there is always a bigger picture over and above the individual subjects you study, the different skills you learn. All the work you do is placed in the context of growing in friendship with God, and all that flows from that friendship. So you learn not just to be good students, but good citizens, good people. As you move higher up the school, you have to make choices regarding the subjects you study, you begin to specialise with a view to what you are going to do later on in life. That is right and proper. But always remember that every subject you study is part of a bigger picture. Never allow yourselves to become narrow. The world needs good scientists, but a scientific outlook becomes dangerously narrow if it ignores the religious or ethical dimension of life, just as religion becomes narrow if it rejects the legitimate contribution of science to our understanding of the world. We need good historians and philosophers and economists, but if the account they give of human life within their particular field is too narrowly focused, they can lead us seriously astray. A good school provides a rounded education for the whole person. And a good Catholic school, over and above this, should help all its students to become saints.’

The Pope also used the occasion to launch the Year of Catholic Education. Following his lead, we have already had a splendid Celebration of Catholic Education for the Province of Westminster: Mass celebrated by our Metropolitan Archbishop together with his suffragan bishops, and stimulating discussions and conversations throughout the day.

At the end of this term we will say farewell to Stephen Hawkes, who has decided to leave us at Christmas to resume his training in psychotherapy that he began some time ago. We thank Stephen most sincerely for all that he has contributed to the Service in his four years with us. I know he will be missed by the schools he has worked with, but we will have time to say farewell in a fitting manner later in the year.

Paul Barber Signature

Paul Barber


Aspiring to Deputy Headship

Please find enclosed with this bulletin a flier advertising the above course which takes place on Wednesday 26th January to Friday 28th January 2011 in Milton Keynes. Early booking is advisable as there are only a limited number of places available. The course is particularly relevant to those who have completed ‘Leading from the Middle’, similar middle leadership courses or those considering applying for a Deputy Headship for September 20011. The course is open to both Primary and Secondary colleagues.

Contact Maureen Roe on 0207 798 9005 or email

School Leadership

If a head teacher is absent for a long period of absence due to health issues or because they have been requested by the local authority to take up an interim placement at a community school, it is important that the Diocese is advised of the leadership arrangements to be put in place by the governing body during the head teacher’s absence.

Contact Maureen Roe on 0207 798 9005 or email

Interim Arrangements

The Diocese, often at short notice or in an emergency, sometimes needs to find head teachers or deputy heads to cover interim leadership arrangements at both primary and secondary schools. It is, therefore, very useful to hold a list of senior leaders willing to assist the diocese in this capacity. Please complete the enclosed pro forma, and ensure before it is returned, that the chair of governors (for head teachers) or the chair of governors and the head teacher (for deputies), has agreed in principle to such an arrangement. This can speed up the process in an emergency. There can be no guarantee that a secondment or interim arrangement will become available through this process, but it is good to know that there are people willing to serve the wider interests of Catholic education if it is needed. An interim arrangement can provide excellent CPD.

Contact Maureen Roe on 0207 798 9005 or email

Primary Headship Appointments

The diocese has been advised that a number of primary head teachers in the Diocese are retiring at the end of the school year 2011. The number of Heads retiring, advised at this stage, is more significant than in previous years. It is advisable, therefore, that if there are other Heads who intend to retire at this juncture and they have not already advised their governing body of their intentions, that they do so as soon as possible. Advertisements for headships for September 2011 will in the main be advertised in early January with interviews in February/March. Planning and preparation for recruitment takes place this term. This enables governing bodies to re-advertise the post for a second time if it is not possible to recruit first time round. Head teachers in post have to resign by 30th April for a September appointment and deputy heads by May 31st. The dates for the Easter break for 2011 will have a significant impact this year as there is not consistency across all authorities. This could affect the timings of the interview process. Once head teachers have advised their governing bodies of their intention to retire the Chair of Governors should contact Maureen Roe immediately.

Contact Maureen Roe on 0207 798 9005 or email

Leadership and Succession Planning

The National College, in partnership with The Catholic Education Service, The Church of England’s National Society and Dioceses across the country have developed a succession planning strategy for the academic year 2010-2011. There is some funding available to each regional group of Dioceses to support specific events.  Westminster Diocese will be working in partnership across the London Dioceses both Catholic and Church of England, and in the Eastern region on the same basis to serve our Hertfordshire schools. In most regions there will be three significant events, some of which will be by invitation and others that will be open to all who wish to be involved.  The first event to publicise in London is a ‘Taste and See’ event to be held on Saturday 20th November at Church House Conference Centre, Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3AZ. This event will cater for a broad range of participants who aspire to school leadership and who might wish to consider a position in a Church School or a school with a religious character. Participants will range from teachers considering applying for middle leadership, through to those in middle or early senior roles to those already in senior leadership seeking a promoted post. It is, therefore, equally suitable for deputy head teachers and head teachers considering moving to a school with a religious character who are in the community sector and wish to move to a Catholic or Anglican school. For Catholic schools the aspirants or participants will be practising Catholics who are currently working in community schools, Catholic schools or Anglican schools. Please see the attached flier for booking details. All parishes across the Diocese will be notified of the event so that we reach colleagues who currently work in the Anglican or community sector.

The two other events / programmes planned relate to Pre NPQH and Post NPQH. The post NPQH event / programme  is likely to be a specific targeted group for those aspiring to Headship in  September 2011. The pre NPQH will be similar to the targeted support provided through some local authorities but with more direct relevance to Catholic Schools for our Schools and the Church of England for theirs. Further details will be released as they become available.

Please complete the attached pro forma seeking information about those who are currently attending Pre NPQH support programmes run by local authorities, those who wish to attend a pre NPQH Programme as advised above and those who are currently undertaking the NPQH and when they are likely to graduate or who have graduated from the NPQH and the date this was achieved.

Contact Maureen Roe on 0207 798 9005 or email

Primary Head Teachers’ and Primary Deputy Heads’ Conferences 2011

A letter will be sent to all schools just before or after half term confirming the arrangements agreed at the planning meeting for both Conferences held on Oct 12th. The Heads’ Conference will be based in Oxford and the Deputy Heads’ in Glasgow. Separate planning groups will continue to meet to assist in the detailed planning for both and will be advised, as appropriate, to all those who expressed an interest. Confirmation of attendance and deposits will be required by quick return to secure hotel bookings etc.

Contact: Maureen Roe 0207 798 9005 or email

News from the Primary Team

Beyond Level 3

There was an excellent turn out to the inset which explored moving beyond Level 3, AT 1 strand 1. All of the advisers are familiar with what was presented at this inset, so if your school wants to pursue this at your school please contact your adviser directly. Further inset, this time looking at the others strands in AT 1, is planned for later on in the year: please book if this is of interest to you.

‘Initiation’ Theme Support Material  

The disc with the new support material for the topic ‘Initiation’ is now available. So far, discs have been given to all NQT’s who attended any of the NQT days; Islington schools, Tower Hamlets schools, and any other school who has requested one in the last few weeks. If you have not received this disc and would like one, please contact your adviser.

Nativity Operetta

Some of you may remember Fr. Adrian Tait (born Paul Tait in Abbots Langley 1937). He was ordained Priest in the Salvatorian Order in 1961 and took the name Adrian after the only English Pope. Fr. Tait trained as a teacher at St. Mary’s, Twickenham and taught music at all levels. He was a gifted musician who played the piano, guitar and had a beautiful tenor voice. While at St. Mary’s Fr. Tait wrote a Nativity operetta (music and script) which has been given to the Education Service for distribution to schools. If you would like a copy of it please contact your adviser.

Religious Education Coordinators Conference Day

Just a reminder that Daniel O’Leary will be leading the Religious Education Co-ordinators Conference days on 23 and 24 November. Please see the CPD booklet for details and book through Margaret Theissl, Conference Secreatry.

Contact: Margaret Carswellon 0207 798 9005 or

NOCN Sixth Form General Religious Education

This qualification continues to be available and funded as in the past, the only difference being that it is included on the Qualifications and Curriculum Framework from 2010, whereas previously it was on the National Qualifications Framework. Reference numbers for the qualifications remain unchanged. Confirmation of this information, together with the listing of all course numbers, is about to be emailed to all secondary head teachers and heads of Religious Education.

Contact: Peter Ward at or on 020 7798 9005

Admissions – Distance*

A number of local authorities have changed their method of measuring distance.  This is usually measured by computer from a point in the centre of the school to a point in the centre of the child’s home.  These points are given by the post office.  If your local authority is measuring distance for you, it is recommended that you put in your policy the wording used by the local authority in their admissions booklet for the current year.

Contact: Mary Ryan on 020 7798 9005 or

Admissions – Jobs for Autumn Term 2010*

Governors should check last year’s policy and see if any changes are necessary for 2012-2013.  After making any agreed amendments governors send the 2012-2013 draft policy and SIF to the Diocese for consultation (see email address below). This should be done by the October half-term. You will receive advice on your admissions arrangements by the end of term, together with a letter telling you whether or not you will need to consult more widely and how to go about it. It is recommended that all schools use the Diocesan Supplementary Information Form (SIF) available from the Diocese by email on request.

Contact Mary Ryan on 0207 798 9005 or email or Ian McGibbon on 020 7798 9005 or

Admissions: Priest’s Reference*

The new Diocesan Priest’s Reference (with notes for parents) is available on our website.

This new version, developed with assistance form Brentwood and Southwark Dioceses, updates the existing forms in the light of legal developments since the last forms were published. Schools intending to use a practice test for entry in September 2012 should make sure their criteria match the new form. Most schools will be able to use the new forms this coming year (entry in September 2011). This will be the case, for example, where schools use the recommended Diocesan wording in their admission policies. In a few cases, some schools may have criteria that require the use of one of the existing forms for the coming admissions round. For that reason, the old forms will not be withdrawn until the end of this academic year.

Contact Mary Ryan on 0207 798 9005 or email or Ian McGibbon on 020 7798 9005 or

The Option for Nonviolence in Catholic Schools

Enclosed with this Bulletin is a paper by John Williams, Secondary Adviser, on this important initiative. Please make this paper available as widely as possible.

The next inset day on this topic is Wednesday March 16th 2011 at Vaughan House. (Please see CPD book for booking details.)

Contact: John Williamson 0207 798 9005 or

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!)

We have not been sent any Good News since the last bulletin in September. Please let us have anything you would like included in the next issue.