Dear Colleague in Catholic Education,
Last month His Holiness Pope Francis published a new apostolic exhortation, Gaudete et Exsultate, (Rejoice and be Glad) on achieving holiness in the modern world. The Pope says the document is “not meant to be a treatise on holiness” but “to repropose the call to holiness in a practical way for our own time, with all its risks, challenges and opportunities.” This remarkable document is well worth sharing with staff, governors and pupils. Pope Francis goes on to say, “At its core, holiness is experiencing, in union with Christ, the mysteries of his life. It consists in uniting ourselves to the Lord’s death and resurrection in a unique and personal way, constantly dying and rising anew with him.... The contemplation of these mysteries, as Saint Ignatius of Loyola pointed out, leads us to incarnate them in our choices and attitudes” The Education Service will be exploring ways of using this document in our service and commitment to schools and colleges. We hope you will create opportunities to make good use of it too.
You will have received an email from Paolo Camoletto, the Chief Operation Officer of the Diocese, regarding Financial Summaries to be returned to the Diocese by Monday 30th May. The Diocesan Trustees are concerned that financially this is going to be a very difficult period for schools with the changes to the funding system, expected pay rises within the sector, pension cost rises and in addition to inflationary rises on supplies and services. It is therefore, important to identify the schools who are financially at early risk so that support can be provided. The information you submit to us is vital intelligence that needs to be collated, analysed and disseminated to all parties so we can see exactly what we are facing both individually and collectively in the months and years ahead. All schools and colleges will receive a summary report for their September Governing Body meeting outlining trends and patterns across our diocese and what steps you possibly can take to address the issue. In complying with this request you are significantly helping the Diocese to work with others to find solutions in exceptionally difficult circumstances. Thank you for your support with tis request.
We are seeking to appoint a new Primary RE Adviser for the new academic year. This vacancy has arisen due to a long serving member of staff retiring this summer. Details can be found at https://rcdow.org.uk/diocese/jobs/primary-re-advisor-1/ If you know of anyone who would be a suitable candidate please encourage them to apply.
On behalf of all the Education Service I would like to take this opportunity to wish every student who is about to undertake public examinations this month every success and good wishes. We also thank every member of staff who has contributed to them to ensure they are ready. We are very grateful to you for all that you continue to do and more.
Thank you for all you are doing to support, promote and protect Catholic education across our Diocese.
With best wishes.
Director of Education
GDPR and Application Forms and Contracts
The CES model application forms have been amended and will be available on the CES website (www.catholiceducation.org.uk) from 25th May 2018.
In connection with the two-yearly review of the CES model documents, the CES will be writing shortly to consult on the proposed amendments to the model CES contracts and policies. Note that the contracts of employment do not require amendment in accordance with the GDPR.
Contact: Mike Pittendreigh email@example.com
Primary School Assessment Information Sessions
As you are aware, this year, many of our schools have been piloting the new skills assessment framework in Religious Education. The pilot has now finished and the national feedback is currently being collated. The pilot framework will be revised in light of feedback provided and subsequently presented to Diocesan Bishops for approval at the end of June.
Once the new assessment criteria are approved, we will expect all schools to work towards transitioning to the new format during the academic year 2018/19. We are hosting information sessions in July in which the new framework will be presented. Please note, these sessions are merely intended to provide information and enable you to begin the conversation in your schools about the impending changes. More formal and detailed diocesan training will take place in early September, and will continue throughout the year at deanery level.
There is no cost for the meetings but please do register your intention to attend on our online booking system using the links below. Although it may be a challenge, I would recommend for both Headteacher and RE Co-ordinator to attend if possible.
Even if you have been involved in the pilot, please do attend, as the framework will have been updated and there will be new information.
1: July 6th 1pm - 3.30 Vaughan House
2: July 9th 1pm – 3.30 Niland Centre
3: July 10th 1pm - 3.30 Vaughan House
Contact: Trisha Hedley firstname.lastname@example.org
Diocesan Moderation for Primary Schools
There are three scheduled moderation session. The 12th and 14th of June will be at Vaughan House. The 18th of June will be at the Niland centre. All sessions will start at 1.30pm. The schools who have been piloting the new assessment will work together on the 14th June in a separate group. (Please note schools who are not involved in the pilot are still able to attend on the 14th June. Please indicate intention to attend via the booking system. https://courses.rcdow.org.uk/
Contact: Diana Roberts email@example.com
Adoremus – Our Eucharist Journey
The Education Service is excited about the national Eucharistic Congress taking place on the 7th – 9th September 2018. We realise, unfortunately, very few members of our school communities will be able to travel to be present at the congress but nevertheless hope to create a real and lasting legacy within our schools. We are therefore launching a year of activities to support schools in preparing for and building upon this congress in an age appropriate and meaningful way. We have decided the most appropriate time to launch this year is on the Monday 4th June, the day after Corpus Christi, with the natural focus on the Eucharist and sufficient time to prepare for the Congress itself. Entitled 'Our Eucharistic Journey', the year will run from Corpus Christi 2018 to Corpus Christi 2019, culminating in a Mass celebrated in the Cathedral.
A launch pack has been created and sent to schools to inspire and engage teachers in their faith formation and that of their pupils. The pack provides an introduction and links to useful websites and educational resources to enhance understanding of, and devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. In addition to the launch pack a multitude of resources have been uploaded to the online sharing platforms (SLACK) we have created for our schools. This should enable access to inspiring ideas and materials but also provide a space to share the fruits this year will undoubtedly bring. We have provided a range of cross curricular links to the Eucharist including music, art and poetry. We are delighted Cardinal Nichols is also intending to produce podcasts for schools to help launch ‘Our Eucharistic Journey’, and will keep you informed of their availability.
We share Cardinal Nichols’s hope for a 'rejuvenation' of love of the Eucharist in our communities. Whilst the majority of pupils and staff are familiar with and have many opportunities to take part in the celebration of the Mass, we hope this year will also offer an opportunity for pupils to experience Eucharistic Adoration and also prayers such as the Divine Praises. Cardinal Nichols has requested all children learn the Eucharistic hymn ‘Sweet Sacrament Divine’, written by a former Westminster priest (details in the attached Launch pack).
This is an exciting opportunity for our children and young people to deepen their understanding and appreciation of the Eucharist, and to share in a national event in a meaningful way. I know schools will respond in creative and inspired ways and look forward to witnessing the wonderful response. The Advisory Team will be working with schools and particularly those with responsibility for RE and Catholic Life to encourage and support.
Contact: Amanda Crowley firstname.lastname@example.org
Sacrament of Reconciliation and Safeguarding
In response to concerns regarding safeguarding requirements in relation to the Sacrament of Reconciliation guidance from the Archbishop’s Council is attached.
Contact: Amanda Crowley email@example.com
Last Wednesday saw a very enthusiastic group of seventeen colleagues begin their journey to study for the Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies. The first module, led by Tarcisius Mukuka, an eminent lecturer from St. Mary’s University, saw students delve into the Old Testament considering ideas such as the account of creation set against our scientific and evolutionary understanding. It was certainly an informative and thought provoking two hours.
If you think this is a course of study you would be interested in, then there is still time to sign up and start with module two which will explore the New Testament. It will begin on 6 June with all sessions taking place at Larmenier and Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School in Hammersmith.
Contact: Liz O’Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org 07738183831
LCVAP 2018/19: The Secretary of State for Education announced the 2018/19 assignment of LCVAP (School Capital Allocation (SCA) and Healthy Pupils Capital Fund (HPCF)) on Thursday 15th March 2018.
In readiness for this announcement, the Education Commission (Capital Strategy Committee), in conjunction with Diocesan Officers from the Property, Finance and Education Teams, scrutinised, reviewed and ranked all applications. The 88 successful applicants (and the 48 unsuccessful applicants) were informed of the outcome on Friday 23rd March.
Last autumn (2017), governing bodies were invited to apply for LCVAP in order to address and resolve significant condition needs. 136 qualifying applications, requesting £26,754,117.13 of grant, were correctly presented and registered by the deadline.
In March 2018, the Education Commission authorised the investment of the share of the LCVAP (SCA+HPCF) allocated to the Diocese of Westminster. The total value of the investment is circa £13,019,000.00.
In order to maximise the effective deployment of the LCVAP, some of the grants awarded by the Education Commission were for less than the amount requested by the applicant school. However, this has enabled the Commissioners to approve allocations to 88 schools (64.7% of proposals).
The Health Pupils Capital Fund (HPCF) is a targeted grant funded from the tax on sugary drinks. The Education Commission has agreed to combine the HPCF and SCA funding in this year’s LCVAP programme. The vast majority of funding offers have now been formally accepted by the recipient Governing Bodies.
Please Note: - A new VA Application Form has been issued by the ESFA and this has been circulated to Trustee Approved Consultants. A copy is attached for your information.
For informal discussions in advance of the 2018/19 LCVAP funding applications round (Autumn 2018), please contact Nigel Spears: email@example.com or 07738183828.
Priority School Building Programme (Phase 1): We are pleased to report that the appointed contractors are making good progress with the construction of the new school buildings at Salvatorian College (Harrow) and Maria Fidelis (Camden). We look forward to the successful completion of both project and the return to normality for the affected school communities.
Priority School Building Programme (Phase 2): Good progress has been achieved in many of the 12 published schemes during the last 3 months. Despite significant obstacles affecting both design and procurement, we are anticipating the commencement of work within the next 6 months at:
• John Henry Newman (Stevenage) – A new building that to replace the one identified in the programme
• St Mary’s Secondary (Bishops Stortford) – Substantial Refurbishments to the targeted Victorian and Georgian buildings at the top of the site
• St Joseph’s (Bishops Stortford) – The replacement of most of the original buildings, coupled with the expansion of the school from 1.5FE to 2FE that has been separately funded by the Herts CC
• St Margaret Clitherow (Brent) – The replacement of a significant portion of the original school
• Our Lady of Lourdes (Brent) – The provision of a new block to replace various “temporary mobile units” on the site
Condition Data Collection Tool (Tranche 4): The ESFA are making good progress in the delivery of this programme. A number of Catholic Schools in the Diocese have been contacted by the nominated surveying organisations and their data recorded.
The schools named in Tranche 4 are:
URN Establishment name Responsible body
101342 The Annunciation RC Junior School Archdiocese of Westminster
143082 Bishop Douglass School Finchley The Cardinal Hume Academies Trust
101548 St Margaret Clitherow RC Primary School Archdiocese of Westminster
137994 Convent of Jesus and Mary Language College The Diocese of Westminster Academy Trust
100048 Our Lady Roman Catholic Primary School Archdiocese of Westminster
101921 St John Fisher Catholic Primary School Archdiocese of Westminster
101926 St Vincent's Catholic Primary School Archdiocese of Westminster
100285 Cardinal Pole Catholic School Archdiocese of Westminster
102145 St Mary's Priory RC Junior School Archdiocese of Westminster
102147 St Mary's Priory RC Infant School Archdiocese of Westminster
102149 St Francis de Sales RC Infant School Archdiocese of Westminster
102231 St Teresa's Catholic Primary School and Nursery Archdiocese of Westminster
102234 St George's Primary School Archdiocese of Westminster
117469 St Philip Howard Catholic Primary School Archdiocese of Westminster
117471 Saint Albert the Great Catholic Primary School Archdiocese of Westminster
117594 St Mary's Catholic School Archdiocese of Westminster
127416 Holy Rood Catholic Primary School Archdiocese of Westminster
137914 Saint Joan of Arc Catholic School All Saints Catholic Academy Trust
137922 Saint Michael's Catholic High School The Diocese of Westminster Academy Trust
102528 St Mary's Catholic Primary School, Isleworth Archdiocese of Westminster
137928 Gumley House RC Convent School, FCJ Gumley House Convent School FCJ
100437 Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School Archdiocese of Westminster
100451 Blessed Sacrament RC Primary School Archdiocese of Westminster
100459 St Aloysius RC College Archdiocese of Westminster
100491 Oratory Roman Catholic Primary School Archdiocese of Westminster
100500 Servite RC Primary School Archdiocese of Westminster
100504 Our Lady of Victories RC Primary School Archdiocese of Westminster
100978 Bishop Challoner Girls' School Archdiocese of Westminster
131936 St Mary and St Michael Primary School Archdiocese of Westminster
133289 Bishop Challoner Boys' School Archdiocese of Westminster
101133 St Joseph's RC Primary School Archdiocese of Westminster
101143 St Vincent's Catholic Primary School Archdiocese of Westminster
The assigned surveyor will contact you to arrange the date and time of their visit to your site. Please endeavour to be as accommodating as possible. Once their visit data has been uploaded, you will be provided with access and offered to opportunity to challenge the accuracy as necessary. If you have any issues relating to this programme, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good Estate Management for Schools (GEMS) Website Launch: “The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and Department for Education (DfE) published the Good Estate Management for Schools (GEMS) guidance and tools on GOV.UK on Thursday 26th April 2018.
GEMS is a new online resource to help make sure land and buildings are well managed, support educational objectives and excellent resource management. The resource brings together new and existing guidance on school estate management, and sets out:
• The fundamental policies and procedures needed to manage the school estate effectively
• Guidance on strategic estate management, organisational oversight, understanding your land and buildings, energy and water management and managing projects
• Updated guidance on health and safety, compliance and maintenance (replacing existing guidance in Essential Schools Maintenance)
• The skills organisations need access to, links to tools and resources that can help
The guidance is for anyone with responsibility for overseeing or managing the estate. This includes: leaders and governors of schools, charity trustees of academies and academy trusts, trustees of schools, school business professionals, those with responsibility for day to day running of the school estate, local authorities, Diocesan authorities and other religious authorities and bodies.”
In the guidance documents, you will note that there has been a departure from the usual terminology used in government documents. The terminology used in these documents is to ‘trustees of the school’ which means the legal trustees, in our case usually the diocese, and ‘charity trustees’ when referring to the directors. The document explaining the terminology sets out why it there has been a departure.
There are various references throughout the documents to schools with a religious character and also to Catholic schools. The documents include text about the need for schools to meet the objective of the charitable foundation and the obligations of the trustees of the school in relation to the land and buildings:
“Schools with a religious character and those supported by a charitable foundation must make sure that:
• The goals of the school meet the requirements of their foundation
• They meet their obligations to the trustees of the school, in relation to the maintenance and upkeep of the land and buildings.
The documents also include text to make clear that the consent of the trustees of the school is required in relation to any dealings with the land (pg. 12 Maintaining the estate) and that, where there is a charitable trust, the governing document may limit what the school can do to require for the school to fulfil the specific charitable objects. The document Understanding land and buildings includes the following:
“…If you’re a school with a religious character, you should always contact the trustees of the school and the diocese when considering any transactions involving the land and buildings.”
CAUTION: Please note the text on procurement (pg.16 of the section in Overseeing the estate). There is reference to procurement routes and processes and signposts to frameworks, i.e. ESFA and Crown Commercial Services.
There is only a short sentence here about procurement specific to Catholic schools which is: “Schools with a religious character should refer to the diocesan procurement procedures.”
Asbestos Management Assurance Process (AMAP): “Please note that the following update on the AMAP has been published in .Gov.UK: ESFA e-bulletin 211 dated 15 March 2018
Briefly, the DfE/ESFA is asking responsible bodies to complete the AMAP to provide assurance that their schools are managing asbestos safely. Responsible bodies, for these purposes, are the main employer of staff at state-funded schools and academies. They have a duty under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 to manage asbestos in their school buildings.
All responsible bodies are to complete the AMAP and submit an assurance declaration for all their schools by midday, on Thursday 31 May 2018.
They will need to ensure that they include every school for which they are responsible in the AMAP declaration. They can either complete all returns themselves or ask their schools to complete the information requested and then submit it to the responsible body for review. The Responsible Body needs to provide the assurance declaration for all their schools, which they can do from 2 April 2018.
Voluntary-aided schools: The DfE/ESFA will be sending an AMAP code to voluntary-aided schools in April 2018. This will allow voluntary-aided schools to provide information and for their governing boards to complete the AMAP responsible body assurance declaration.
PUPIL PLACEMENT PLANNING
As previously advised, the effective date of this year’s Application and Allocation survey is:
Thursday 7 June 2018
Due to circumstances beyond our control, we are currently experiencing difficulties in accessing the Pupil Placement Planning Database. Whilst we work to rectify the problem, we shall be grateful if you will email the completed Data Upload for your school/academy to email@example.com
Requested Information: The information requested is as follows:
• Year of Admission (For this return, the applicable year-group is 2018/2019)
• LA Code (i.e. 123)
• School DFE Number (i.e. 1234)
The data in the first three columns identifies the academic year-group and the school. The same three pieces of data will be repeated in each row for every applicant.
• Date of Birth
• Baptised Catholic (Baptismal Certificate) (Y/N)
• Applicant (Y) – NB, This data supports the underlying program.
• Allocated (Y/N)
• UPN – The Unique Pupil Number (If Known)
The data in the last 6 columns identifies each potential pupil. In the absence of a UPN, the program will use a combination of the child’s postcode and DOB to create a unique identifier that can be cross-referenced with the data supplied by other schools.
A copy of the CSV spreadsheet that you are asked to use when recording your data is attached for your convenience.
If you have any questions regarding this return, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions section contained in the January 2018 DOWES Bulletin or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Admissions 2019 – 2020
All 2019-20 Admission Policies and Supplementary Information Forms should now have been updated and be in a prominent place on the school website. They should also now be displayed on the local authority website.
Admissions 2020 – 2021
Governors are requested to review the admission arrangements for 2020 – 2021 and send them to the diocese between now and the end of September. Please indicate whether or not you have made any changes to your arrangements. Consultation for 2020-2021 begins on 1st October 2018 and is for a period of 6 weeks ending by 31st January 2019 at the latest. Remember, if you haven’t consulted during the past 6 years you must consult this year even if you are not making any changes to your arrangements.
For further information please contact email@example.com
General Data Protection Regulation
The day we have been working towards: 25th May, is rapidly approaching. The Regulation comes into force on that date but there is still time to put the essential procedures in place and to plan a rolling programme of updating documents and systems currently in use. It’s not possible to do everything at once but a detailed record of what has been put in place and what is still to be done is essential and will help with your planning. In total around 400 governors attended training on GDPR (1) (procedures) and GDPR (2) (documents). Thank you all for your dedication and hard work.
For further information and resources please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Get into Teaching - St. Mary’s University, Twickenham.
If you are interested in finding out more about teacher training – you are warmly invited to our PGCE Open events. Presentation explains all routes to gain qualified teacher status, entry criteria and support offered. Opportunity to meet St. Mary’s Primary and Secondary teaching staff to find out more about the courses offered.
Thursday 10th May
Tuesday 12th June
Monday 9th July
All events from 5.45 – 8.15pm.
See website for further details: https://www.stmarys.ac.uk/teacher-training/become-a-teacher.aspx
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 )
We are happy to publicise all sorts of achievements, although we do not usually feature OFSTED outcomes.