Schools Bulletin: January 2017

Welcome to our January 2017 Bulletin

Dear Colleague in Catholic Education,

On behalf of the Education Service may I take this opportunity to wish you and all your school community a Happy New Year and every happiness, good health and witness to faith for 2017. We are going to need it with all we face ahead this year. As a Catholic community we are at our best when we are working for one another and with one another. I very much welcome the challenges knowing there are literally thousands of dedicated practitioners at every level seeking collective solutions.

My thanks to you all for attending the launch of the Academy Strategy & Policy evening on 1st December at Church House. Now the dialogue and discussion will take shape to secure, promote and develop Catholic education for the foreseeable future. For those schools who wish to be involved we welcome your application and for those who do not we respect your position. This process is collaborative and voluntary.   Following the publication of the strategy document we have listened to the immediate concerns of schools with proposed families and have adjusted three of them to accommodate a new way forward. We feel these are better arrangements and we will continue to listen and be self-correcting.

Family 7 – Camden and Islington; Family 8 – Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham; Family 9 – Hackney and Tower Hamlets.

Full details will be sent to schools and colleges this month but felt it was important to be clear from the start of term what we have decided to do. The Project Board will be meeting in January and details will be sent to schools in February as to when designated family of school meetings will take place in the months ahead. Look out for a monthly bulleting on the diocesan website in the Academy section.

We have decided to move back the date for the Chair of Governors Briefing scheduled for 19th January to Thursday 30th March at 6pm. This will allow time for the Project Board to make proper representation to Chairs of Governors. The meeting schedule for Heads and Chairs of Religious Order schools is Tuesday 28th February and letters will be sent to these schools.

The Education Service has expanded its capacity to help support Religious Education and Catholic life in Primary education. The recent appointment of Mrs Sinead Steed as our fifth Primary RE adviser has allowed us to ensure all of our Primary schools have a designated adviser whilst Mrs Theresa O’Sullivan is on maternity leave. We welcome Sinead to our team who brings with her a wealth of experience teaching in the diocese.

In November 2016 the Diocese received the adjudication from the OSA against 5 diocesan schools – Case references: ADA3080 Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Primary School, ADA3114 St Richard Reynolds Catholic College, ADA3117 St Ignatius Catholic Primary School, ADA 3124 St Michael Catholic Primary School and ADA3141 St Paul’s Catholic College

In conjunction with the CES our solicitors Winckworth Sherwood instructed Nigel Giffin QC of 11KBW to challenge the adjudication. Mr Giffin felt there were considerable grounds upon which to challenge the objections to the use of the CCP. He then made an application to the High Court.

I am pleased to say that on December 21st Mr Justice Holman made a further Order granting a Stay of the effect of the Adjudicator’s Determinations. The Stay remains in place until any further Order or until Judgment is given after the hearing, which under the first Order is to be listed for a two day hearing between 25 April and 26 May. The Judgment is likely to be reserved and only handed down in June/July.

The application was necessary because he had omitted this from his first Order granting Permission. In fact, our QC had set out in what seemed to us to be very clear terms in his Statement of Facts and Grounds why we needed this and, to be fair, the government Legal Department acting for the Adjudicator had conceded that a Stay should follow were Permission to be granted.

So, the effect of the Stay is that the current admissions round for entry in September 2017 can proceed on the basis of the published policies without the need for any re-drafting in the light of the Determinations.

We have to review our position once the Adjudicator and the DfE have submitted their formal case (they have 35 days to do this from 20 December) and we will need to explore any possibility of reaching a settlement with the Adjudicator (as referred to in Mr Justice Holman’s first Order).

In conclusion, priests should continue to sign the CCP as part of a school’s admission process for this admission round. The policy will be reviewed in light of any determination or agreement brokered by the CES and the DfE in the months ahead. It is important we are seen to be compliant, open and transparent with any changes that may occur in the future. All priests will be kept informed of any changes that may occur at the earliest opportunity.

In January schools and colleges will receive the full details of the senior leadership conferences that are due to take place this term. A key focus this year is on personal wellbeing and we do hope you will be able to attend in Norwich or Oxford.

Finally, the Education Service wishes to express its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Sinead Higgins and her son Oisin O’Driscoll, who was a student of St Swithun Wells Catholic Primary School, Ruislip who both died in tragic circumstances before Christmas. Also to the family and friends of Kevin a Y6 pupil at St Agnes Catholic Primary School who passed away in Poland on Boxing Day. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Please keep both these school communities in your prayers.

Thank you for all you are doing for our students, staff, governors and families in Catholic Education. We hope the term ahead bring us all many graces and blessings to all our community.

With best wishes

JP Morrison

Director of Education

Province Day – 21st September 2017

Province Day – 21st September 2017

On 21st September 2017 we celebrate our Province Day.  Headteachers and Governors from across the Province will be invited to a day in Westminster.  We begin with Mass in the Cathedral at 10.30am and the day continues in Cathedral Hall.  The theme of the day is ‘A Theology of Hope for Catholic Education’ and Mike Ion, a former Catholic Headteacher and consultant to the DfE will be the keynote speaker.

Contact:  Amanda Crowley




The Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies (CCRS) offers an introduction to the central teaching and beliefs of the Catholic tradition. The modules are taught through tutorials and group distance learning in a friendly environment. The CCRS is managed and awarded by the Board of Religious Studies on behalf of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales; it is open to anyone who wishes to deepen their understanding of the Catholic faith. We offer a two-year or one-year course which can be school based or through external teaching methods.

The course can either be taken for credit with assignments or as audit only with no assignments.
Suitable for teachers, governors, parish catechists or for personal interest.

Please contact our administrator for further details:

Upcoming CPD Opportunities

Upcoming CPD Opportunities

19th January – Chair of Governor briefing – postponed until 30th March 2017

20th January – Aspiring Head of RE

24th January – Primary AHT / DH – from advert to appointment

25th January – Secondary AHT and DH Conference

26th January – Liturgical year and Catholic School Community

31st January – Children Preparing and Leading Acts of Worship

4th February – Link Governor for RE and Catholic Life

6th February – RECD – improving teaching and learning in RE

7th February – Key Beliefs of the Catholic Church

21st February – HT Deanery Representative Discussion Forum

23rd and 24th February – Secondary HT Conference

27th February – Governor Induction

Please book complete booking form and book with Margaret Theissl

Contact:  Amanda Crowley

Pre-Diocesan Inspection Preparation Day (Primary)

Pre-Diocesan Inspection Preparation Day (Primary)

Further to the announcement of the Chief Inspector last term that all schools can now be inspected at any point during the academic year they are due, we feel it is prudent to offer our primary schools a Pre-Diocesan Inspection Preparation day at Vaughan House on 29th June 2017.  We would like to invite the Headteacher, or a suitable representative, from each school due inspection in the academic year 2017/8 to attend on this day.

This will not replace the school inspection support given but will be a more time efficient way of ensuring generic preparation advice is provided.  We would encourage all schools expecting diocesan inspection next year to attend.

Contact:  Amanda Crowley

RSE Documents in Word Format

RSE Documents in Word Format

The Relationships and Sex Education documents from the CES have now been made available in Word Format, enabling schools to edit and adapt to personalise.  The documents are all available on our website along with the original PDF versions.

Contact:  Amanda Crowley

Sharing platform – SLACK supports RE curriculum changes

Sharing platform – SLACK supports RE curriculum changes

The Education Service is utilising an online sharing platform called SLACK to support the work of Heads of RE and Chaplains in the Diocese. Two SLACK groups have been set up; one for Heads of RE that enables these subject leaders to upload resources and support each other with the new RE curriculum changes at KS4 and KS5, and the other group is for Chaplains with the aim that effective examples of liturgies, assemblies, prayer and worship can be shared. Over 200 different resources have been uploaded so far but Heads of RE and Chaplains need to continue to regularly use their SLACK group to ensure it remains effective.

Contact:  Claire O’Neill,, 07803634242

Getting to grips with the new Edexcel GCSE in RE

Getting to grips with the new Edexcel GCSE in RE

Maria Fidelis Catholic School is pleased to offer a training day for RE teachers who are delivering the new Edexcel GCSE. It will take place on Friday 27th January 2017 between 9.30am – 3pm. The day will be delivered by Rebecca Watton, who is an experienced and successful RE teacher and has co-authored the Dynamic Learning series and the Teacher Resource guides for Edexcel GCSE. Rebecca also has examining experience with Edexcel.  The day will include:

•          Teaching Judaism for the new GCSE

•          Marking exercise and detailed feedback

•          Sharing resources and proposed resources in the pipeline

•          Nature of the assessment and sample answers

Booking information: To confirm your school’s places please email Ms Anita Money:

Claire O’Neill,, 07803634242

Primary Adviser Allocation – Spring/Summer Term

Primary Adviser Allocation – Spring/Summer Term

Michael Corcoran





Kathleen Gilbert


St John Fisher and St Anselm’s – Ealing Deanery

Hammersmith and Fulham

Kensington and Chelsea



Catherine Bryan and Sinead Steed









Upper Thames

Tower Hamlets

Contact:  Amanda Crowley

Inspection Update

Inspection Update

The new style report, which was piloted in the Autumn term, has been positively received. The change to a bullet point summary and a restriction to the length of the prose sections has resulted in more succinct, evaluative reports.

The Inspection Committee has taken the opportunity to review the self-evaluation document and the Inspection Handbook, which now includes the instruction for the Diocesan report to be on the school website. The revised versions of all inspection documentation can be found on the Diocese website. However, as the changes are minor, it is not expected that schools should re-write their self- evaluation documents for inspection this term.

Contact: Jane Goring, Chief Inspector, 07710 088910



LCVAP 2017/18:

No News at the time of writing. Unfortunately, we are still waiting for the government to announce its education capital allocations for 2017/18. Once this information has been received and processed, the Trustees will announce the programme for 2017/18.

Pupil Placement Planning


Task for SBM/Admissions Coordinator and Admissions Committee

EARLY REMINDER: Next term, we will be requesting information on applicants to our schools and academies (YR or Y7) This survey will focus on pupils who are expected to start the primary or secondary phase of their education in September 2017. The designated date for the Applications survey is Thursday 8 June 2017

Requested Information: This survey is of all applications for admission to Catholic Schools/Academies in the Diocese of Westminster. You are asked to confirm the details of every applicant to your school, including those who are unsuccessful. It is extremely helpful for the Education Service to be able to identify Catholic Children who are unable to secure a place in a Catholic School/Academy despite being the subject of an application to one or more of our schools. The collective intelligence from all schools has enabled us to engage with Local Authority colleagues with clear evidence of under capacity in the Catholic School provision in certain areas of our Diocese. We appreciate that it is unusual for Schools and Academies to be asked for information about unsuccessful applicants but, in determining the real issues that must be addressed by our Catholic Community, that information is vital.

The main information that each school/academy will be asked to supply is as follows:

  • Date of Birth
  • Postcode
  • UPN – The Unique Pupil Number (UPN) (If Known)
  • Whether the applicant is a Baptised Catholic (Baptismal Certificate) (Y/N)
  • Whether the applicant has Accepted an offer of a place at your school for September 2016 (Y/N)

Insurance – Management of Building Risk (VA Schools Only)

Insurance – Management of Building Risk (VA Schools Only)

Task for SBM or Chair of Premises Committee

Background: Zurich, our insurers, are concerned that they have little understanding of how the risks attaching to diocesan VA school properties are managed, whether by the Diocese, Governing Body or Local Authority. In order to assist, please arranged for your school’s Business Manager or the Chair of your Premises Committee to complete our online survey.

Please click Property Risk 2017 Survey to access the survey online.

Following the completion of the survey, we will be approaching a small selection of schools to obtain examples of policies, systems and good practice that we can submit to Zurich. NB – Schools will be selected from those that have indicated that they can “produce, on demand, evidence”.

Please complete the Property Risk Survey as soon as possible and not later than Friday 28th April 2017.

JP2 Foundation for Sport

JP2 Foundation for Sport

John Paul 2 Foundation 4 Sport chose Yorkshire to launch its new ‘Aim High For All’ Virtues programme (AHFA), endorsed by Cardinal Vincent Nichols. The AHFA programme was unveiled at St Stephen’s Primary School, Skipton, Yorkshire, on November 24 as it was in this county that some three years ago JP2F4S first asked schools to road-test the three pilot booklets that make up the programme.

Thanks to the input from these schools – and the contribution from many other sources around the country – and after a number of redrafts and a redesign, we now have an outstanding programme.

On launch day, 500 copies of the AHFA programme were sold and the programme is now being rolled out around the country over the next six months. The programme, designed for Years 6 – 9, is flexible and it can be taught in PSHE classes, PE or RE lessons and even used for assemblies.

The three Virtues Booklets are designed to support young people in developing the physical, intellectual, spiritual and emotional aspects of their lives by focusing on the eight values found in the Beatitudes and the virtues that evolve through self-awareness. Each booklet examines in a practical way the eight virtues through which each of the eight values found in the Beatitudes can be lived. As we say at JP2F4S, ‘virtues make values visible’. Some schools have told us they will tackle a virtue a week, some every two weeks and others, a virtue a month.

Sport is not only good for health and fellowship but, in keeping with  the JP2F4S strap line,  [Educating young people through sport] it can, in the right hands with the right mind-set, become educational and furnish young people with the virtues – the life-skills – they will need to fulfil their God-given potential.

Fr Vlad Felzmann, JP2F4S CEO, is looking forward to an invitation to schools in the Westminster Diocese to show you what JP2F4S has on offer.


To discover more go to

Twitter: @jp2f4s

Eteach Renewal Offer


We have just received the good news that Eteach are prepared to offer schools in our diocese the same discount as offered this year.

This is proving an excellent resource and almost 100 of our schools are benefitting from this online recruitment service.

Contact: Mike Pittendreigh


Good News Slot

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 )

Many Congratulations to St Dominic’s Sixth Form College, Harrow on being selected to be The Sunday Times Sixth Form College of the Year 2017. The Principal, Andrew Parkin said “This was a great honour for the College, for Catholic Education and for all those students and staff, past and present who have contributed to the College’s success over the last 37 years”;

St Benedict’s Senior School, Ealing on one of their students receiving an Army Officer Scholarship to Sandhurst; 

St Thomas More Primary School, Berkhamsted, children and families from St Thomas More raised an incredible £1159.79 for projects supported throughout the Catholic Church’s Year of Mercy (Year of Mercy ran from 8th December 2015 to 20thNovember 2016) and the children took up the challenge with each class choosing a charity to support;

St Thomas More Berkhamsted also celebrated their 50th Anniversary with the Cardinal who celebrated Mass.

Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School, Stonebridge, Brent and it’s Headteacher, Mary Bickerstaff on being awarded the Prince’s Teaching Institute (PTI) Primary Leadership Mark.


Many congratulations!