Schools Bulletin: December 2018

From the Director

Dear Colleague in Catholic Education,

The Lord is coming! As our school and College communities this week prepare for the season of Advent we are reminded that the next 4 Sundays and 28 days are all to do with joy and hope knowing that Our Lord is coming. Too often attempts have been made to rebrand Advent.  At times it may feel the true meaning has been lost and Advent has been usurped by Amazon, but not in Catholic schools. This is the where our communities truly excel in the meaning of Christmas and the birth of our Saviour. They provide the joy, the wonder, the eager anticipation and celebration of birth and life in such a positive and engaging way. In the early 1500s the German Lutherans introduced an Advent wreath. This tradition has continued in our schools today. The wreath is a circle, which has no beginning or end:  So we call to mind how our lives, here and now, participate in the eternity of God’s plan of salvation and how we hope to share eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven.  The wreath is made of fresh plant material, because Christ came to give us new life through His passion, death, and resurrection.  Three candles are purple, symbolizing penance, preparation, and sacrifice; the pink candle symbolizes the same but highlights the third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday, when we rejoice because our preparation is now half-way finished.  The light represents Christ, who entered this world to scatter the darkness of evil and show us the way of righteousness.  The progression of lighting candles shows our increasing readiness to meet our Lord.

Advent is often associated with preparing for change in the New Year in our schools. The Education service is no different.  Following the retirement of Michael Corcoran and the resignation of Grace Anderson as Primary RE Advisers we have been successful in finding replacements. Patrick Murphy and Tony Gorton will join the team in January 2019. Patrick is currently a Primary Deputy Headteacher in Brentwood Diocese. He has experience of working as a Religious Education Co-ordinator and as a school’s officer for CAFOD. Tony is currently the Headteacher of St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Waltham Cross, Herts. I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to Michael and Grace for their professionalism and support for the Education Service. Both of them excelled in supporting colleagues, working in schools and will be sorely missed.

Preparations are currently underway for the Our Eucharistic Journey Mass on 18th June 2019 – to be celebrated by the Cardinal in the Cathedral.  It has been agreed with Fr Andrew Gallagher that St Patrick’s Chapel will host a display for the month of June which will include samples of work and artwork submitted by schools relating to Adoremus.

In this month’s bulletin, I would draw your attention to the LCVAP and Pupil Placement Planning section of our website Schools are reminded that they have an obligation to complete the relevant sections that pertain to their individual school. Not only are these interactive maps on our website useful and informative, they will also allow us to provide much needed analytical judgements  over pupil numbers and admissions that schools have eagerly requested. Also, the transparency over where LCVAP funding is allocated will prove informative and objective.

On behalf of all the Education Service I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of the colleagues working in Catholic education; the governors who support them and the boys and girls who attend our schools and colleges a holy and blessed Advent. May the joy and hope that comes with the birth of Jesus Christ renew our faith and mission in one another and the Church we serve.

Thank you for all you are doing to support, promote and protect Catholic education across our Diocese.

With best wishes.

JP Morrison

Director of Education

No More Marking!

No More Marking

We are delighted that over 70 schools have expressed an interest in the pilot.  After meeting with No More Marking it was agreed that the initial pilot would involve 7 one form entry schools assessing their Year 4 pupils and uploading pupil’s work.  The initial task and supporting Powerpoint were devised with reference to all 3 schemes / resources currently being used. These have been sent to all schools that have registered an interest. There is no obligation to use these resources but we think potentially they could  provide an early point of analysis and discussion based on the New Skills Framework.

The pilot schools will moderate their work using No More Marking and their results will be fed into the database.  In order to obtain diagnostic results which are useful for the whole diocese we have invited the remaining interested schools to attend a moderation session using No More Marking. Following this session No More Marking will produce a diagnostic report which the advisory team will analyse and use to build exemplars to share at deanery meetings and the Deputy Headteacher Conference.

Contact:  Diana Roberts

RSE Update

RSE Update

The current guidance on RSE is found in ‘Sex and Relationship Education Guidance’ from 2000. In 2017 ‘The Children and Social Work Act’ proposed that ‘all pupils will study compulsory health education as well as new reformed relationships education in primary school and relationships and sex education in secondary school.’

Initially the deadline for RSE becoming statutory in schools was September 2019.  However, following delays in guidance being issued, the consultation on the guidance period was from July 19th – 7th November 2018. Under the workload protocol, schools must be given at least one year of lead-in time for any major curriculum change. Therefore, the hard deadline for the statutory guidance is September 2019, to be in place for September 2020. We might receive the statutory guidance before then depending on what emerges from the consultation period and how long it takes to be agreed in Parliament.

It is likely that once the statutory guidance is confirmed then resources to teach this curriculum will be produced.  We know of some Catholic providers who are already working on materials e.g. Ten Ten.  In the interim, advice to schools is to use the CES materials, specifically the model curriculum to shape what they are teaching in schools.  As soon as there is clarification around expectation, we will provide diocesan training on teaching RSE in a Catholic context.

Contact:  Amanda Crowley

Spiritual Directors

Spiritual Directors

We recognise the immense challenge and responsibility for our Headteachers of leading a Catholic community.  We are in the process of compiling a list of approved Spiritual Directors.  Until the list is finalised, Fr Chris Vipers is very happy for Heads who would like a spiritual director to contact him

Contact:  Amanda Crowley

Standards Update

Standards updates

The pilot of the Standards document has now been extended in light of feedback given.  Schools have been given permission to use the document but there is no compulsion at this stage.  The final document is scheduled for launch in September 2020, to coincide with the revised RECD.   The documents should complement each other to provide content and assessment requirements for RE in Catholic schools.  At this point the diocesan approach is to invite schools to join the pilot, and to encourage engagement with training opportunities.  Even those schools who have decided to remain with Levels of Attainment are encouraged to engage with training to remain informed.  Three training days for Primary Schools were offered in October, focusing on Planning and Teaching.  Over 100 primary schools were represented at the training.  Training for secondary schools will be incorporated in to the Head of RE Day Conference.  Further training and support materials will be provided during the year.

Contact:  Trisha Hedley



There are numerous resources on our diocesan website and the diocesan sharing platform, SLACK, to support with the Adoremus legacy in our schools.  Regular bulletins and communications are being sent with ideas to maintain the momentum.  Plans are currently in place to celebrate the end of the legacy year on 18th June,  and invitations will be sent to schools shortly.  There will be displays of pupils work in the Cathedral.  Please do send any examples of work and photos of display to Elaine Arundell

Contact:  Elaine Arundell



A further exciting opportunity will shortly be available to deepen your knowledge and understanding of Catholic theology. A new CCRS course in Hertfordshire will begin on 16 January 2019. Thank you to the Headteacher and staff at Loreto College St. Albans for providing the venue. Sessions will run on Wednesdays from 4 – 6pm with eight modules being taught.  More detailed information and booking forms for all of the Diocesan CCRS courses can be found on the Education Service Professional Development section on the RCDOW website.

For further information please contact: Liz O’Brien at 07738183831

Pupil Placement Planning – Enumeration Day

Thank you to all schools that have submitted their October 2018 data using the online form. A representation of submissions received to date can be found on the Education Service Website.  Please click here to view.

If your school has not submitted this return, it is not too late. Click here to access the online form. Further guidance can be located on the PPP page of our website.

Contact: Nigel Spears., 07738183828

LCVAP and HPCF 2019/20

The Capital Grants Submission/Application Round is now closed.

In December 2018 and January 2019, all proposals will be scrutinised by Diocesan Officers in Finance, Property and Education. Projects will be ranked and then presented to the Diocesan Schools Building Committee and the Education Commission (Capital Strategy Committee) for their consideration and approval. Information relating to the allocation of LCVAP and HPCF Grants will be published in the second half of the spring-term of 2019.

A representation of the applications for LCVAP and HPCF can be found on the Education Service Website. Please click here to view.


Contact: Nigel Spears., 07738183828

The Future of LCVAP

Following the CES Conference on Monday 19th November, members of the Education Service and Diocesan Finance will be working with colleagues across the country to draft proposals that can be presented to the Education Commissioners in all Catholic Diocese in England and Wales. We will share more information as it is released.

Contact: Nigel Spears., 07738183828

Asbestos Management Assurance Process (AMAP)

Schools that did not complete this process earlier in the year will have receive a letter from the Department of Education informing them that the portal is open and will continue to be accessible until Friday 15th February 2019.

On 11th November, the DfE wrote to the Education Service and the CES to confirm the progression status of the schools/Academies in Westminster Diocese.

School AMAP status Description
Red The form has NOT been completed
Amber The form has been sent to the Responsible Body for review and the accumulated AMAP score is less than 0
Green The form has been sent to the Responsible Body for review and the accumulated AMAP score is equal to 0 or 100
Completed (Grey) The form has been submitted to the DfE and the accumulated AMAP score is less than 0
Completed (Black) The form has been submitted to the DfE and the accumulated AMAP score is equal to 0 or 100.

Click here to access the Workbook.

Currently, 157 school have failed to register a completed and compliant return. To protect school leaders and Governors/Directors, it is imperative that the data from those schools is supplied by the designated date. The DfE is working with the Health & Safety Executive challenge (and potentially penalise) “Duty Holders” who have failed to supply the required information.

Nigel Spears has been provided with the access codes for Catholic VA School. If you cannot locate your access code, please email and Nigel will send you the required information. NB: Nigel has not been provided with the Access Codes for Academies.


In order for the re-appointment system to run smoothly it is essential that the following timetable be followed:

  1. In the year of re-appointment (e.g. for September 2019), send the relevant forms to the Diocese immediately after Easter (or earlier if possible). It would be helpful if the clerk would routinely alert foundation governors shortly before Easter that their term of office is due to expire at the end of August or thereabouts.
  2. Two weeks before your term of office expires, if you have not received your deed of appointment, check with the school that your DBS certificate has been returned to the diocese and with the priest in your parish of residence that he has returned your reference form. If both of these have been done then please ring the diocese for further information.

For further information please contact


It is recommended that the following paragraph, or similar, be appended to your Supplementary Information Form (SIF) and other documents sent to parents:

The school is committed to protecting the information provided by parents/carers and using it only for the purpose for which it was obtained. For information on the school’s Privacy Notice please look on the school website under Privacy Notice or contact the school for a hard copy.

For further information please contact


A big thank you to all the schools that have already submitted their admission arrangements to the Diocese. Please remember that they must come to the Diocese before they go to the local authority and before they go to governors for determination. For schools still wishing to change their 2020 – 2021 policy and go out to consultation the deadline is fast approaching – 19/12/18. Consultation is for a minimum of 6 weeks and must end by 31st January 2019.

When policies and SIFs have been to the Diocese and determined by governors they can then go to the LA and up on the school website. This must be done by the end of February 2019. Please do not remove your 2018-19 arrangements from the website until the end of the summer term 2019. You will now have the following policies and SIFs on your website: 2018-2019, 2019-2020, 2020-2021.

For further information please contact

Upcoming CPD Opportunities

Senior Leaders with Responsibility for the Catholic Life of the School

DECEMBER 4th  9:30 AM – 3:30 PM

TARGET AUDIENCE: Secondary Senior Leaders with Responsibility for Catholic Life

LOCATION:Vaughan House

The AIM of this day is to gain a greater knowledge and understanding of the role of the Senior Leader with responsibility for the Catholic Life of the Secondary School


The distinctive nature of Catholic Education Diocesan expectations

Diocesan inspection

Spiritual reflection and prayer


Aspiring to Primary School Senior Leadership

DECEMBER 6th 1:00 PM – 3:30 PM

TARGET AUDIENCE: Experienced Middle Leaders and Assistant Headteachers

LOCATION: Vaughan House

The AIM of this day is to provide an opportunity to explore the vision, leadership and management skills required to be a Senior Leader in a Catholic Primary School


The role of the Senior Leader in a Catholic Primary School

Leading and Managing in a distinctly Catholic context

Senior Leader as Faith Leader

Application and Appointment Process

Spring/ Summer Terms

Please note that bookings are also now open for Spring and Summer 2019. For all bookings, please visit”


Congratulations to Holy Family Primary School, Ealing on celebrating being a ‘full’ school. The school in 2012 and now has its first ever Year 6 class. To mark the occasion, Bishop John Wilson visited the school on Thursday 18th October 2018 to celebrate Mass and also Blessed the school.

St Anne’s High School for Girls Enfield following the DFE Performance Tables achieved the following:

  • Top Progress 8 score for all Enfield schools
  • Top Progress 8 score for all Catholic schools in England
  • 10th highest Progress 8 score for all schools in England

This is wonderful news for the school and we are happy to share it with colleagues.