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May 2019

Dear Headteachers and Governors,

Welcome Letter regarding CATS

Thank you for agreeing to take the next steps on your schools journey to form a Catholic Academy Trust (CAT) within your Family of Schools.

At last year’s Headteachers’ Conference Cardinal Nichols extolled the benefit of collaboration between Schools to overcome the challenges we face. This year Bishop Wilson asked schools to revisit the proposal again.

Cardinal Nichols stated we all face a period of challenge and uncertainty. He said, “ This means taking difficult decisions, marked by realism, about resources. In such circumstances it is right to look for economies that can be achieved by structures of cooperation, between schools within the same locality and within the wider family of schools. This is not an enforced 'master-plan', as you well know. It is a measured and appropriate response to the reality we face. The alternative, individual schools in isolation, will lead not only to conflict but also to the decline that eventually accompanies isolationist policies. “

It is exactly these circumstances that has given rise to the Diocese Catholic Academy Trust strategy and programme.

Since the Diocese published its Strategy for Catholic Academy Trusts in September 2017, three new Academy Trusts have been created with the possibility of four more in the pipeline

We are in a process of supporting schools, such as yourselves, who have expressed an interest in taking the next steps to follow in the footsteps of the above CATs in 2019 and beyond.

The next steps for interested Schools is to;

  • Hold regular termly meetings with other committed Schools in your Family to discuss School Improvement priorities and capacity;
  • Include Family CAT as a regular item on Governing Body agendas;
  • Pass a Governing Body resolution to convert to an Academy and form CAT;
  • Complete the Diocese Due Diligence and Financial Recovery Plans forms for review by the Project Board;
  • Draft your School’s Conversion Application form for the DfE

To assist with this we have put together an Academy Pack of materials to support you in this process.This Academy Pack contains the following;

  1. Welcome letter
  2. Case for Catholic Academy Trusts
  3. Pipeline process and timescales
  4. CAT Strategy Presentation
  5. Governing Body resolution meeting template
  6. Due Diligence form
  7. Due Diligence data collection spreadsheet
  8. Financial Recovery Plan
  9. School conversion application form
  10. Foundation Directors application form

The table at the end of this letter provides a brief explanation of the purpose of the above documents.

If you have any queries regarding this or require any support throughout the process please do not hesitate to contact Adrian Leggett, the Diocese’s Academy Implementation Officer on 07816 277192 or adrianleggett@rcdow.org.uk

I look forward to welcoming you to one of the forthcoming meetings and to working with you to advance the CAT programme

I look forward to hearing from you. With very best wishes.

JP Morrison
Director of Education
welcome letter table

Academy Pack