Schools Bulletin: January 2015

Welcome to our January 2015 Bulletin Expand

Dear Colleague in Catholic Education,

A very Happy New Year to you all. On behalf of the Education Service may I extend to you and your School community every success and happiness for the year ahead. This term witnesses the annual conference season for senior teachers and Leaders of our schools throughout the Diocese. Our guest speakers this year include Professor John Sullivan, the Emeritus Professor from Liverpool Hope University; Dr Ian Linden from the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, who will be exploring Christian Muslim relations; Fr Nikolaas Sintobin SJ, a Flemish Jesuit who specialises in internet ministry and the use of modern media to articulate the Gospel values; representatives from Caritas and the CES.  There will also be an opportunity to attend workshops run by the Diocese and hear first hand accounts from Headteachers whose schools have demonstrated outstanding practice in the delivery of Religious Education and Catholic life of their school. It is also an important opportunity to come together as a community to celebrate our faith and witness to the Gospel.

This term the Diocese will be reviewing the applications made by some of our schools to convert to Academy status. As part of the consultation process it is vital that the whole community are aware of what has been proposed. Currently the Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School has sought to become an Academy and has agreed to work in partnership with two other schools of the Diocese choosing to ensure it reaches out to the wider Catholic community. In Harrow St Bernadette’s Primary and St Gregory’s Secondary in Brent have applied to become a GMAT and in Barnet so have St Theresa’s Primary, St Catherine’s Primary and Sacred Heart Primary. The decision to convert rests with the Education Commission and finally with the Trustees before any final DfE approval. If any school or interested party wishes to find out more about each of these proposals, please contact me directly at the Diocese. The Diocese will make representation at any governing body meeting to inform and guide governors with their queries and concerns. A major consideration for conversion is that a school must also take into account the possible impact on the wider Catholic community. We seek to support our schools, but not to the detriment of another.

I have been approached by Caritas Anchor House to highlight their “Leader in Me” programme aimed for secondary school students. This programme is available to purchase and details of which can be found at It focuses on leadership modules that can be tailored to suit the needs of your students.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank publically Mr John Williams who retired as our RE Secondary School Advisor at the end of last term after many years of service to the Catholic school community. He will be greatly missed and thoroughly deserves to enjoy his well-earned retirement. He is currently in Chile and everyone knows what a wonderful and gracious human being he is.  Also, I wish to thank Mrs Maureen Bermingham who, after year of service to the Primary sector, has also decided to retire at the end of last term. She too will be greatly missed and many of our schools will miss her insight, wisdom and good sense of humour. Our thanks and best wishes to them both and may they have a wonderful retirement. It was a pleasure to work with them both.

Thank you for all you are doing for our students, staff, governors and families in Catholic Education.

JP Morrison

Director of Education

Senior Appointments Expand

Senior Appointments

For the appointment of a Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher or teacher in charge of Religious Education, the Diocese must be invited to send a representative to the Appointments Panel. Please ensure that the shortlisting /interview  dates are set by prior arrangement with the Diocese. In the first instance, please contact Mike Pittendreigh, who has responsibility for senior appointments.

Contact: Mike Pittendreigh

Inspection Update Expand

Inspection Update

From time to time, I receive requests to defer Section 48 inspections for a variety reasons: staff vacancy, illness etc. Each request is looked at carefully and I have agreed to some requests in the past.

The new OFSTED framework, however, puts such a decision in a different context. It is possible that the Leadership & Management of a school could receive an adverse judgment if a Section 48 has not been carried out within the specified timeframe.

S14.    “…Section 48 Inspections should be conducted within 5 years from the end of the school year in which the last section 48 inspection took place”.  Regulation 4, 2009

 S17.    “…If no section 48 inspection by a suitable person has taken place, the lead inspector should check the arrangement; if governors have not arranged for a section 48 inspection, then inspectors should conclude that they have failed to meet a key expectation”.


Clearly, we would not want our sympathetic response to a request for deferment to jeopardise the school.

Contact: Sister Mary Jo Martin, Chief Inspector,

Admissions Expand


Thank you to all who have sent in their admission arrangements 2016/17. Consultation is underway and finishes on Friday 27th February.  It is now too late to make further changes to the 2016/17 arrangements. All policies and SIFs (whether consulted on or not) need to be considered by the governing body and subsequently determined.  This should be done by 15th April 2015.  It is recommended that the GB consider the arrangements this term as, for many, 15th April will lie in the school holidays.  Following determination the documents should be sent to the LA, telling them that they are the determined arrangements.

There remain about 50 schools who have yet to consult with the diocese on their Admissions Policy. These schools are urged to do so as soon as possible.

Further information from or

Admissions advice from the CES Expand

Admissions advice from the CES

Schools will have received an email last week with information on the Admissions Code 2014 which was published on 19th December 2014. There is no need for concern as we are ahead of the game and all advice provided to schools was in line with the new Code (the draft version was available from 1st September 2014.)

Reconstitution Expand


Many thanks to all those who have forwarded to the diocese their chosen model of reconstituted governing body. Just a reminder, that the chosen model must be sent to Ian McGibbon at the diocese who will provide the governing body with a draft Instrument. Once approved by the governors and the Bishop, Ian will arrange to send the new Instrument to the LA. This should be done before the end of this term in order to complete the process before the end of the school year. This requirement does not apply to Academies.

For further details please contact or

Forthcoming Courses on legal issues for governors and staff Expand

Forthcoming Courses on legal issues for governors and staff

New SEN Regulations Part 1 – 24.01.15, (10.00am – 3.00pm) at Vaughan House

New SEN Regulations Part 2 – 07.02.15 (10.00am – 3.00pm) at Vaughan House (These two courses contain different material and one or both may be attended.)

Compulsory Policies for Schools, Thurs 12.02.15 (1.30 – 4.00pm) at Vaughan House

Data Protection and Freedom of Information, Wed 25.02.15 (6 – 8pm) Vaughan House

Complaints Procedures, Monday 09.03.15 (6.00pm – 8.30pm) at Vaughan House

Applications to

Good News Slot Expand

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 )

Convent of Jesus and Mary Language College, Willesden, Brent on being awarded the Inclusion Quality Mark (IQM); the College has recently closed its celebrations recognising its 125 years of providing Catholic education in the borough; St Edmund’s School, Enfield, have received a letter from the Minister of State for Schools, David Laws MP, congratulating them on being “one of the most improved schools in the country in terms of the attainment and progress of your disadvantaged pupils since 2O11.” The school was also awarded a monetary prize.

Both of these schools have received awards which are particularly significant for providers of Catholic education. Well done!