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In September 2017, the Diocese published Families of Schools: The Implementation of Catholic Academy Trusts (CATs). This document set out the whys and the wherefores of the formation of sustainable geographical CATs within eleven Families. The challenge was made very clear: ‘how collectively we can protect, secure and develop the Church’s mission in Catholic education.’ This has not changed – but national circumstances since then have made the need for resilience in our sector more acute than ever.
Strong CATs enshrine the principles of solidarity and subsidiarity which underpin Catholic Social Teaching. CATs are secure, self-sufficient and outward-looking. With their strong focus on their particular locality, they provide the resilience our sector needs to preserve and promote the integrity of pupils’ Catholic education in the Diocese. This is the fundamental point of Catholic Academy Trusts.
Our generation inherited a thriving Catholic sector. We have a profound responsibility to consider and adopt a strong framework which allows us to bequeath our schools – intact and strengthened – to our successors. CATs enable us to meet that challenge.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols
Archbishop of Westminster