Dear Colleague in Catholic Education,
Welcome back from Half Term and we wish you all a faith renewing and holy Lenten journey as a Catholic community. The Education Service is currently seeking and has advertised in TES this week for a new Chief Inspector of Schools. Sr Mary Jo Martin has announced she wishes to step down from this role this summer and will help serve the Diocese in a new capacity. Sr Mary Jo Martin is an inspirational leader in Catholic education and I would like to take this opportunity to thank her for her years of service and dedication to Religious Education and the Catholic life of schools and colleges. If you know of someone who is seeking a new challenge in Catholic education please let them know of this opportunity. We are also advertising for an RE advisor to join our team and again details can be found in TES. Again, if you know of anyone interested please direct them to the advert or to contact me directly.
This month saw a very successful Secondary Headteachers’ Conference held in Durham. Dr Ian Linden from the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, gave a very powerful presentation on the need to know the “religious other” and the importance of inter faith dialogue and mutual understanding. Fr Nikolaas Sintobin SJ, a Flemish Jesuit who specialises in internet ministry, provided a wealth of ideas and understanding on appropriate use of social media. He is very keen that schools utilise his exceptional website seeingmore.org. as a way of shaping a spiritual response and understanding to non-religious images and messages. Look for yourself. It is a wonderful resource.
In preparation for the Primary Headteachers’ Conference in Edinburgh next month a summary of the findings of last year’s conference has been published and sent to schools. This information has proved invaluable for the Service in helping to shape its provision and direction for schools and Colleges.
I am delighted to announce that the Minister of State for Schools, David Laws MP, has written to 14 of our Primary schools to congratulate them on the improvement in the Key Stage 2 results of their disadvantaged pupils since 2012. Their results showed that they are highly effective in educating their disadvantaged pupils. Some schools narrowly missed qualifying for the Pupil Premium Awards this year, however the Minister expressed his hope that they can build on their success through the summer 2015 results for disadvantaged pupils. If so, they may win a prize of £1000 next year in the 2016 Awards and may also be invited to apply to win up to £100,000.
The Minister has also acknowledged the outstanding progress of Pupil Premium students at KS4 for seven of our Secondary schools and they too deserve congratulations for their outstanding work.
This is a fantastic tribute to the hard work of so many of our schools striving to achieve the very best for some of the most vulnerable in our community. I am very much aware they are not alone in their achievement but it is very reassuring to see so many Catholic schools receive the recognition they deserve.
You can find out more about the awards at www.pupilpremiumawards.co.uk.
Thank you for all you are doing for our students, staff, governors and families in Catholic Education.
With best wishes
Director of Education
The process for 2016 – 2017 is now drawing to a close. Most schools have sent their admission arrangements to the diocese and are now taking the amended policy and SIF to the governing body for determination. This must be done by 15thApril at the latest. This date falls in the Easter holidays for most schools, therefore the admission arrangements must be determined by governors before the end of this term. Following determination, please send the policy and SIF to your LA (with a copy to the diocese), letting them know that they have been determined. Then you can put the documents on the school website – and that’s it!
Just a gentle reminder that schools must put their appeals information on the school website by the 28th February 2015. This should include:
- The closing date for appeals (a minimum of 20 school days following receipt of the letter from the LA. Suggested closing dates for appeals are 2nd or 24th April 2015 for secondary schools and May 22nd or 29th 2015 for primaries);
- The person in the office to contact for information;
- The approximate dates on which appeals will take place e.g. last week in June etc.
For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Documents that maintained schools must have on their websites
The attachment name describes all the documents that, by law, you must have on your school website. This is something that Ofsted looks at, so it is good to keep the website up to date.
For further information please contact email@example.com
Reconstitution of the Governing Body
Many thanks to all those schools who have already reconstituted. Those who have not yet sent their chosen model to the Diocese are urged to do so as soon as possible and before the end of term at the latest. The Instrument of Government needs to go to local authorities after it has been to the diocese and this stage can take a long time.
Forthcoming Governor Training at Vaughan House
Monday 9th March 2015 5.30-9.00pm – Complaints Procedures
Wednesday 29th April 1.30-4.30pm – Presenting Officers
Saturday 16th May 2015 10.00am-3.00pm – Admission Appeals
Wednesday 10th June 2015 1.30-4.30pm – Presenting Officers
Saturday 4th July 2015 10.00am-3.00pm – Exclusions and Exclusion Appeals.
We are pleased to announce that the indicative allocations for 2015/16 LCVAP are now available. We received more than £23.5M of appropriate, condition related, proposals.
The indicative allocation of LCVAP for Catholic VA Schools operating within the Diocese of Westminster is only £12.6M, therefore, a significant number of qualifying proposals have been unsuccessful. To ensure that LCVAP is deployed appropriately and effectively, the Capital Strategy Committee of the Education Commission, with the support of colleagues from Diocesan Property and Finance, has considered and ratified the awards.
CAUTION: Allocations at this time are still to be ratified by our local authority partners and may be reduced or suspended at their discretion. However, we are not anticipating any significant amendments and governing bodies that have secured a 2015/16 grant are advised to make progress and plan for the expeditious implementation of their proposal. If there is a reduction in allocation, it is most likely to affect those who are last to present their tendered project for formal approval from the Secretary of State.
PLEASE NOTE: It is a requirement of the Diocesan Trustees that Governing Bodies must employ a consultant from the “Approved List” to support the effective delivery of LCVAP Level projects. Indicative LCVAP Grants to a school where the Governing Body does not employ an approved consultant will be withdrawn and the funding allocated to the next priority proposal in that Local Authority.
In recent months, local authorities have been approaching the Diocese, and individual schools, seeking information about the ownership of Catholic VA and Academy Assets. Following advice from Trust financial advisors/auditors, a generic statement has been issued to all 18 local authorities, confirming the Catholic Churches position. A copy of this statement is attached for your information. If you receive direct requests for information, we would be grateful if you could furnish the enquirer with a copy of this statement.
PLEASE NOTE: Governors are obliged to declare each Capital Asset that has a value of £50K or more.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org )
Many congratulations to St George’s Primary School, Enfield who are Pupil Premium Award Winners (key stage 2) and received £1,000.00: they were selected because they were one of the most improved schools in the country in terms of the attainment and progress of disadvantaged pupils since 2011; congratulations also go to Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School, Kensington and St Anne’s High School, Enfield who have recently been notified as being Pupil Premium Award Winners (key stage 4); Cardinal Pole School, Hackney have secured “outstanding” in the A level Performance Service for the fourth year in a row and in the top 2% of schools nationally’. In addition, the school saw a record number of offers from Cambridge and Oxford this year – Princess Ashilokun who has been offered a place at Oxford said “I am delighted to have secured an offer to Oxford and am working hard to ensure I secure the grades needed; Rikesh Danha celebrated his offer to study Natural Sciences at Homerton College in Cambridge. He said that the college would remind him of his Hackney roots;