Schools Bulletin: January 2018

Introduction Expand

Dear Colleague in Catholic Education,

Traditionally at the start of any new year we are expected to seek new challenges, new opportunities, fresh starts and resolutions. However, for Catholics we are expected to embrace the message of the Epiphany and see Christ revealed in His true form and hope for the world.  Pope Francis criticised the “empty chatter and loud shouting” of contemporary public discourse and defended the rights of migrants in his traditional New Year address at the Vatican. “But we cannot be nostalgic for the past,” Pope Francis said. Rather, we must make careful note of the changes that have affected both the family and schools, and renew our commitment “for a constructive collaboration for the good of children and young people.” This collaboration is at the heart of why Catholic schools are so effective. At this time of year, the Education Service seeks to support and renew its commitment to schools and colleges; to aid you in developing and shaping the collaboration between your wonderful community and the families we serve.

The Education Service will be starting in January a partnership with St Mary’s University to establish a School Standards and Improvement Service in 2018, under the leadership of Sir Michael Wilshaw. Areas for exploration are support in governance; leadership and management; high quality teaching and learning; specialist support in subject areas at both primary and secondary; speech and language; staff resilience; system leadership for CATs; and more. More details will be published later this term.

The Education Service is delighted to announce the appointment of two new colleagues to the team.

Ms Liz O’Brien, the ex-Head of St Dominic’s Catholic Primary in Harpenden, will oversee the CCRS programme form January. Liz can be contacted at for any immediate queries. Ms Gabrielle To has been appointed as the new Office Manager for the Education Service with responsibility for Administration and the Director’s PA. Both are very welcome. Gabrielle can be contacted at

One new initiative we seek to explore is the wider promotion of GovernorHub. This is an online service built by school governors for school governors and academy trustees. Behind the GovernorHub service is a flexible online database for central service providers (LAs, Dioceses, Multi-Academy Trusts) to manage and communicate with their school and academy boards.

For a school governing board, GovernorHub provides education news, a secure, GDPR-compliant mechanism to communicate within the board and to store and share documents for meetings. There is a built-in calendar and document database. Governor details including declarations of interest and training records can be recorded and reported in a format ready for the school website. This system is used widely across our diocese, but we are seeking to develop further its scope and depth for all our schools.

We welcome the appointment of the new Secretary of State for Education Mr Damian Hinds. As part of his wide brief, we hope the cap will be lifted to allow the possibility of more Catholic schools opening in our diocese and across the country. Education at this time faces many challenges and we wish him well as he takes up his new post.

Finally, the booking system is now open for the Headteachers’ Conference at the Ashford International Hotel in Kent. Registration will open at 16:00 on Wednesday 21st February. Departures will be following lunch on Friday 23rd February.

Please follow the link below in order to book. When making your booking please purchase the ticket corresponding to your preferred tour destination and programme option. The tours will be Canterbury Cathedral and Aylesford Priory and the programme options are between Contender Charlie and Ged Flynn/ Nick Barnes. We look forward to welcoming you.

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

Admissions Expand

The next deadline for admissions is 31st January 2018 by which all consultation periods must have finished. Governors must then meet in February to discuss any comments received on their admission arrangements and to determine the 2019-2020 policy and SIF.

These must then be sent to the LA and put on the school website. Please note that none of this can take place until the policy and SIF have been approved by the diocese.

A note for the diary – Consideration of the 2020 – 2021 policy and SIF should be put on the agenda for the next governors’ meeting after the Easter break.

For further information please contact:


LCVAP 2018/19: No News from the Government at the time of writing. We are waiting for the Secretary of State to announce her education capital investment programme for 2018/19. Once this information has been received and processed, the Education Commission will confirm the list of project that will receive a grant from the 2018/19 (LCVAP) programme. Ministers are currently forecasting an announcement in late March or early April.


Task for Heads, SBM/Admissions Coordinator and Admissions Committee Governors

Advanced Warning of a Mandatory Return to DOW

The date of this year’s Application and Allocation survey is Thursday 7 June 2018.

The Governors/Director of every Maintained Catholic School/Academy, that admits pupils into either Reception or Year 7, are asked to ensure that a complete record of every applicant is submitted to the Education Commission by the due date indicated above. The Education Commission use the intelligence supplied by each school to map the patterns of applications relating to schools, deaneries, local authorities and the Diocese as a whole. This is particularly helpful to the Education Commission when considering opportunities for change and development of the strategic provision across the Diocese.


Requested Information: The information requested is as follows:

  • Year of Admission (For this return, the applicable year-group is 2018/2019)
  • LA Code (i.e. 123)
  • School DFE Number (i.e. 1234)

The data in the first three columns identifies the academic year-group and the school. The same three pieces of data will be repeated in each row for every applicant.

  • Postcode
  • Date of Birth
  • Baptised Catholic (Baptismal Certificate) (Y/N)
  • Applicant (Y) – NB, This data supports the underlying program.
  • Allocated (Y/N)
  • UPN – The Unique Pupil Number (If Known)

The data in the last 6 columns identifies each potential pupil. In the absence of a UPN, the program will use a combination of the child’s postcode and DOB to create a unique identifier that can be cross-referenced with the data supplied by other schools.

Frequently Ask Questions:

Q1 – Why can’t I upload the data in school?

A1 – You Can. Every school was provided with login details (Username and password) in order to access the Pupil Placement Planning Module of the Diocesan version of Technology Forge. If you need to reset the login for your school, or need support to use the module, please email Nigel Spears


Q2 – The Trustees of our school are a Religious Order. Does our school need to submit a return?

A2 – Absolutely. Pupil Placement Planning focuses on applications to Maintained Catholic Schools in the Diocese. In order to present a comprehensive review to the Education Commission, contributions from every school are essential. In some areas, parents can apply to 6 schools and their list may include Religious Order, Diocesan Trust and Community Schools. For example:


School Offer/Accepted
RO School Yes
DOW School No
Community School No
DOW School No
RO School No
Community School No


Without the data from the first RO School, the report to the Education Commission would state that this applicant had failed to secure a place in a Catholic School despite applying to three Catholic Schools and would imply that there was a lack of Catholic provision in the locality. However,

With the data from the first RO School included, the report to the Commission would state that a Catholic Applicant had been successfully placed in a Catholic School; having applied to 4 Catholic Schools.

Q3 – Why can’t the Diocese simply get this information from each Local Authority?

A3 – Local Authorities cannot provide us with any information that confirms that Catholicity (or otherwise) of each child applicant. It is only with the direct support of the community of Catholic Schools that this data is available.

Q4 – Why do you give us so much notice?

A4 – The reason that we give advance warning about the Application and Allocation Return is to ensure that school staff have time to collate and record the “Catholic” elements when they are processing the list of applicants and rank the candidates. If we waited until after the allocation announcements, all of the data about the unsuccessful applicants would be lost.

Q5 – Do you want us to collect data on a) Practicing Catholics or b) Baptised Catholics?

A5 – For Pupil Placement Planning purposes, the Education Commission would like to focus on Baptised Catholics. This should ensure that every child who is a baptised member of the Catholic Church is identified at a personal level.

Q6 – Why do you need to know about our unsuccessful applicants?

A6 – Evidence relating to all applicants, successful and unsuccessful, helps the Education Commission to formulate a view on the supply of (and demand for) Catholic School places within the Diocese. For example: By cross-referencing the data supplied by all schools, Commissioners can identify Catholic applicants who, in spite of submitting applications to more than one school, remain unplaced.

Contact: Nigel Spears (AD – Capital Strategy and Pupil Placement Planning)

Email: Mobile: 07738183828

Upcoming CPD Opportunties Expand

Scripture in the Catholic Primary School – Dr Margaret Carswell

Tuesday 16th January – Vaughan House


Aspiring RE Co-ordinators – 1.30 – 4pm

Tuesday 23rd January – Vaughan House


The Theology of Lent and Easter – Dr Margaret Carswell

Thursday 25th January – Vaughan House


Aspiring Heads of RE

Friday 26th January – Vaughan House


The Liturgical Calendar and the Catholic School Community

Friday 2nd February – Vaughan House

Suitable for Primary and Secondary colleagues – leaders, teachers and chaplains


Creativity in Primary RE

Thursday 8th February – Vaughan House


Aspiring to Catholic School Leadership

Wednesday 28th February, NORES, Luton.


Contact:  Francis Leeder

Assessment Pilot Meetings Expand


Friday 12th January – Maria Fidelis School, Phoenix Road, Kings Cross London, NW1 1TA (very close to Euston station) 12.30-3.00


Friday 2nd February – Niland Centre, Bushey – 12.30-3.30



Thursday 18th January – Vaughan House

If you are involved in the Assessment Pilot please let Trisha Hedley know which session your school will be attending.

Contact:  Trisha Hedley

RSE Expand

The Diocese is currently preparing RSE resources to support all of our schools. We are very keen that schools are able to contribute ideas and excellent practice to these resources so they are as valuable as possible. If you know of anyone in your staff who is interested in contributing to the writing and preparing of these resources, please contact Trisha Hedley

Contact:  Trisha Hedley

Diocesan Sharing Platform – Primary RE Expand

The primary RE sharing platform, SLACK has now been launched. We encourage all Headteachers and RE Coordinators to register by clicking on the following link and exploring the site

(please note this link expires on 08/02/18).  The intention is for all schools to upload resources to share throughout the Diocese. If you are having difficulty in accessing the site or uploading documents, please do let us know.

Contact:  Diana Roberts

Aim High for All Expand

JP2F4S has published a range of materials, which form part of the Aim High For All (AHFA) Programme for Schools.

Endorsed by Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the AHFA programme is designed for 9 – 16 year olds, the Aim High For All Programme is designed to support schools by promoting a vision-based, values-driven approach to sport and physical education; enhancing the physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual growth of young people for the benefit of all.

Contact:  Monsignor Vlad Felzmann

We are an organisation which deals with teaching supply both long and short term. We source

teachers for schools across the Diocese. We believe in building relationships with schools hoping to make a real difference and change the recruitment sector for the better. We are the only company of its kind which actively helps schools, communities and young people to achieve their goals and raise standards.


We are different and below are some of the reasons why…

  • NO INTRODUCTION FEES – If you want to take a member of staff from us and employ them, there is NO charge. (We are the only agency offering this).
  • A percentage of all profits from the Aquinas Education will  go to our charity, which in turn will directly help our schools and local community. We are very proud of our charity and have seen some fantastic results already in such a short space of time.
  • Genuine care for our supply staff –  Aquinas also ensure our supply staff are treated equally as well as our schools. Each and every consultant forms a strong relationship with all members of staff, ensuring their teaching experience is as enjoyable as possible.
  • Aquinas Foundation – Our director Jermaine Jenas was keen to make a difference in schools so we  make donations to schools as well as offering exciting role models to visit such as Tottenham football star Harry Kane.
  • Coming from a strong Catholic background we know how to work with catholic schools and the ethos.
  • Recruitment and development of overseas Staff – Aquinas are working closely with Universities in Ireland and Australia, bringing over high quality staff with the talent and motivation to excel in this country.

We have excellent contacts with Accommodation providers and assist newly arrived professionals to settle into their new jobs smoothly.

Contact: Sam Leggitt:

Career Changers in Teaching Expand

Please see the attached flyer publicising an event at St Mary’s University.

the exchange flyer

Good News Slot Expand

(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 )

We are happy to publicise all sorts of achievements, although we do not usually feature OFSTED results.


Congratulations to St Mary’s Primary School, Isleworth who are one of only 104 schools in the country to receive the Special Games Platinum Award.  The Award is part of the Schools Games Mark, a government led awards scheme. Its aim is to reward schools for a commitment to the development of competition across schools and into the community; The Douay Martyrs School, Hillingdon who have been awarded the prestigious Cardinal Hume Award for outstanding contribution to the Catholic Social Teaching.  The Trophy and certificates were presented to Luisa Foley, school chaplain and four representatives of the school by Archbishop McMahon, Chair of the Catholic Education Service; Our Lady’s Convent High School, Hackney on their Talent Show in aid of Children in Need. The winners received cinema tickets for their dance routine and the school raised almost £500.00 for Children in Need.