DOW ES

February 2021

Dear Headteachers and Governors,

 

Welcome Letter regarding CATs

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

At the 2018 Headteachers’ Conference, Cardinal Nichols extolled the benefit of collaboration between schools to overcome the challenges we face; in 2019 Bishop Wilson asked schools to revisit the proposal.

Cardinal Nichols stated that 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.”

These are precisely the circumstances that have 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 more in the pipeline

We are in a process of supporting schools, like yours, which 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 engage with the Diocese and:

  • 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 within the CAT model; and
  • complete the Diocese Due Diligence and Financial Recovery Plans forms for review by the Project Board.

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. Updated Due Diligence form
  7. Updated Due Diligence data collection spreadsheet

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 hearing from you.

With very best wishes.

Paul Stubbings

Interim Director of Academisation

Academy Pack