Schools Bulletin: January 2019

From the Director of Education

Dear Colleague in Catholic Education,

“We must be saints so that we can invite the young to be saints.  The young are crying out for an authentic, radiant, transparent, joyful Church: only a Church of saints can measure up to such requests!” This is the conclusion of the recently published Final Document of the Synod of Bishops on Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment. It goes on to say, “Many of the young have left because they have not found holiness in the Church, but rather mediocrity, presumption, division and corruption.  Unfortunately, the world is outraged by the abuses of some people in the Church rather than being invigorated by the holiness of her members:  hence, the Church in her entirety must embrace a decisive, immediate and radical change of perspective!  The young need saints who can form other saints, thus showing that “holiness is the most attractive face of the Church” (Francis, Gaudete et Exsultate, 9).  There is a language that all men and women of every age, place and culture can understand, because it is immediate and radiant:  it is the language of holiness.”

This important document also summarises the expectation of Catholic education in a pluralist world by stating, “Catholic educational institutions should be the subject of particular reflection.  They express the Church’s solicitude for the integral formation of the young.  These are precious arenas for encounters between the Gospel and the culture of a people and for the development of research.  They are called to propose a model of formation that can bring faith into dialogue with the questions of the contemporary world, with different anthropological perspectives, with the challenges of science and technology, with changes in social customs and with the commitment to justice. Special attention should be given in these settings to the promotion of young people’s creativity in the fields of science and art, poetry and literature, music and sport, the digital world and the media, etc.  In this way the young will be able to discover their talents and put them at the disposal of society for the good of all.” You can find the full text here:–faith-an.html

The Diocese of Westminster schools continually bring faith into all dialogue with the contemporary world. We are continually aware that we have a duty to promote and encourage creativity in every child regardless of ability or circumstance. The call to be saints is not new. Indeed Pope Benedict asked our students the very same when he visited St Mary’s University, Twickenham in September 2010. What this document can provide for schools is a wealth of insight and discernment by those involved in how the youth of our Diocese can actively engage in their faith and action.

This term is an important one on so many levels. Not least it is the time our Headteachers come together to celebrate their mission and service to the Church. We have the highest ever level of attendance at our annual conference to be held in Oxford in early February. We are delighted that so many are able to attend.  In March, we will be hosting the Primary Deputy Headteacher Conference to be held in Winchester. Please ensure your Deputy or assistant Headteacher can attend. Details can be found here:


Preparations are currently underway for Gender Training course on the 27th February. Those who are interested to attend can book online:


As we are fully aware there are many alternatives to Catholic education, but there is no substitute. We need to ensure that our message and our mission for the full development of the child as a spiritual being as well as an academic student are never separated. I hope this bulletin will be of value and interest to you all.

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

Gender Training

We are aware that a number of colleagues are encountering issues relating to Gender Identity within their schools.  Appropriate training and guidance has been requested, and we recognise the need extends beyond the related legal issues, but also concerns our pastoral response to students in our care.  A half day training opportunity has been scheduled for 27th February 2019, designed to cover these two very important aspects.


Please see below for course details:


To provide legal and pastoral guidance relating to Gender Issues in schools


  • The law as it relates to Gender Identity in Schools
  • An exploration of terminology relating to Gender Identity
  • A discussion of case studies relating to Gender Identity e.g. uniform, admission, facilities and trips.
  • Pastoral guidance for schools in relation to Gender Identity

Date and Time:

As we are expecting high numbers attending this half day training, we intend to offer a morning and an afternoon session.  The sessions will be identical and appropriate for both primary and secondary colleagues.

  • Morning Session – 27th February – 9am – 12.30pm
  • Afternoon Session – 27th February – 1pm – 5pm

Target Audience:  All Headteachers (or another appropriate member of staff / governor).  Spaces will initially be limited to one attendee per school (this may change depending on numbers attending).

Venue:  Irish Cultural Centre, Hammersmith Broadway

Cost:  £80

All bookings can now take place via the booking site:

For queries re booking please contact:  Francis Leeder at


Comparative Judgement Update

Eight Primary schools have now completed the Year 4  Incarnation task and uploaded 248 pupil work samples onto  the Comparative Judgement site, No More Marking. In order to produce reliable results each work sample needs to have a minimum of 10 judgements.  Pilot Schools were encouraged to use No More Marking to conduct in house judging of their pupils work samples.   Additionally, the Primary Team ran two moderation sessions at Vaughan House, as well as providing remote judging links to all interested schools.  The judging window closed on the 20th of January.  No More Marking  is  in the process of producing a diagnostic report, analysed  against the Standards Framework.  It is the intention of the primary advisory team to use this  report to produce exemplar materials to support schools working with the new Standards Framework. 

For further details contact Diana Roberts


New resources have been created to support schools with adoration and other worship as well as strengthen the home/school during the liturgical year. These have been sent to all diocesan schools and shared, along with other new materials, on our website and Slack, our sharing platform.

Invitations to our diocesan Adoremus Mass on 18 June have been sent to all schools and their parish priests and preparations for this are underway.

An Adoremus magazine has been created to celebrate the first half of ‘Our Eucharistic Journey’ initiative. This will soon be available on our website.

Our half-termly newsletter sharing testimonies of schools and parishes and their own journeys are ongoing.

Please send any materials to

Foundation Stones

Foundation Stones, a twelve part introductory course on Catholicism, continues at Vaughan House. The third session focused on who was Jesus. This course is particularly beneficial to teachers new to Catholic education or teacher who want to gain an understanding of the main Catholic beliefs and practices.

Teachers can still join the current group that meets for twilight sessions between 4 – 6pm at Vaughan House on selected Tuesdays throughout this academic year.

Alternatively if your school would be interested in hosting a group please also contact Claire O’Neill at


It is wonderful to know that so many teachers are committed to furthering their knowledge of Catholic theology by enrolling for CCRS. The latest opportunity to study for your Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies has started at Loreto College, St. Albans. Sessions run on Wednesdays from 4 – 6pm with eight modules being taught.  There is still time to join this group for Module 2 on the New Testament, starting on 27 February. If you are nearer to Islington, you might wish to join that group for Module 3 on Christology, taught at St John Evangelist School.

Registration forms and a course overview can be found at:

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

Forthcoming Courses
31/01/2019 Primary NQT Day 09:30 15:30 Vaughan House
05/02/2019 Creative RE 09:30 15:30 Conference Room
06/02/2019  – 8/02/2019 Diocesan Headteachers’ Conference 16:00 13:00 Jury’s Inn, Oxford
11/02/2019 Chaplain’s Day 09:30 15:30 Waxwell Farm
12/02/2019 Headteacher Discussion Forum 13:00 15:30 Vaughan House
05/03/2019 Secondary Deputy and Assistant Headteachers’ Conference 09:30 15:30 Vaughan House
14/03/2018 Spirituality and Worship Day 09:30 15:30 Vaughan House
19/03/2019 The Liturgical Calendar 09:30 15:30 Vaughan House
21/03/2019 – 22/03/2019 Primary Deputy Headteachers’ Conference Norton Park Hotel, Winchester
26/03/2019 Foundation Stones 16:00 19:00 Vaughan House
CPD Opportunities for Primary Schools

We have four upcoming CPD opportunities for Primary Schools this term:


Primary NQT Day   31/01/2019  9:30-15:30


  • Sharing of good practice by an excellent practitioner (previous NQT)
  • Tour of Westminster Cathedral included
  • Sharing of good practice/ evidence of work in pupils’ books (please remember to bring one)


Creative RE   05/02/2019  9:30-15:30


  • Award- winning author David Lucas sharing inspiring ways of using story in classroom RE


Spirituality and Worship Day   14/03/2019   9:30-15:30


  • Address by + Bishop John Wilson to support new guidance regarding Mass
  • Meditation by Fr Nesbitt
  • Sharing examples of worship by practitioners and pupils
  • CAFOD  &  ACN sharing up to date materials to support worship and spirituality


Liturgical Calendar   19/03/2019  9:30-15:30


  • Speakers from Missio and Loyola Press sharing up to date materials
  • Musician and song-writer Andy Severyn sharing inspiring resources and ideas for worship during the liturgical year


Admissions Guidance

Admissions 2020 – 2021

The admissions process is now nearing its end. All consultation must be concluded by 31st January.

Finalised policies and SIFs must then go to governors for determination. Please then send your policy and SIF to the local authority stating that they have been determined.

The determined arrangements must then go on the school website. This must all be done by the end of February.


Admissions 2021 – 2022

Please take your admissions policy and SIF for 2021 – 2022 to the admissions committee as soon as possible after Easter.

Then send the arrangements to the diocese, noting any changes that have been made. Consultation begins on 1st October 2019.

Please send the documents even if you are not planning to make any changes.


Admission Appeals Arrangements 2019

If your school arranges its own admission appeals, the arrangements for 2019 must be published on the school website by the end of February.

This information must include:

  • Whether or not a form is available from the school
  • The date by which appeals should be received by the school ( 22nd May for primaries, 5th April for secondaries)
  • To whom appeals must be addressed (can be email)
  • Rough dates for hearing of appeals e.g. last week in June/first week in July


The definition of Catholic

We have received a letter from the CES suggesting wording for the definition of Catholic, following an objection to the adjudicator.

Schools may amend their policies to reflect this without going out to consultation.

Suggested wording: ‘Catholic’ means a member of a Church in full communion with the See of Rome. This includes the Eastern Catholic Churches. This will normally be evidenced by a certificate of baptism in a Catholic Church or a certificate of reception into the full communion of the Catholic Church. For the purposes of this policy, it includes a looked after child living with a family where at least one of the parents is Catholic.’


Children Adopted Abroad

Following the letter from the Secretary of State regarding children adopted abroad, some schools have amended their admission arrangements to include provision for these children.

This advice from the DfE has not yet been incorporated into formal guidance and so it is not necessary to include it at present.

Many schools already have in their policies that parents of adopted children must give evidence of being looked-after followed by formal adoption, without reference to UK legislation.  If this is the case you can admit those adopted abroad alongside those adopted in Britain.

To add an extra criterion or priority will mean having to go out to consultation, so the earliest this can be done is for 2021-2022.

There will be updates on this in subsequent bulletins.

Capital Matters & Placement Planning


LCVAP 2019/20 (and HPCF 2019/20): No News from the Government at the time of writing. We are waiting for the Secretary of State to announce his School Capital Investment Programme (SCIP) for 2019/20. Once this information has been received and processed, the Education Commission will confirm the list of project that will receive a grant from the SCIP. Ministers are currently forecasting an announcement in late March.





This term, the Education Service is collecting and collating data relating to the children and young people who have applied for admission to a Catholic Schools/Academies in the Diocese.


Diocesan Protocol: School Place Planning (Protocol 2 – Data): To ensure that the Diocesan Bishop is able to fulfil his canonical responsibility, the Occupier must comply with the Diocesan Bishop’s directions to supply data relating to a) applications for admission (statutory admission rounds) and b) registered pupils.
Deadline: Thursday 28th February 2019
Form Access: Click HERE to access the Applications Submission Form
User Guide: Available on the DOWES Website
Required Data ·       Year Group

·       Postcode District

·       Catholics

·       Non-Catholics
Data Reflection Available on the DOWES Website (Power BI Map and Charts)


Thank you for your assistance in this matter. The pupil placement planning data supplied by schools and academies is extremely useful, particularly when engaging with local authority colleagues.


Contact: Nigel Spears., 07738183828

Teaching Personnel

Dear Headteachers

Did you know that Teaching Personnel provided over 4,000 days of day-to-day and long-term staffing support across Westminster Archdiocese last academic year, with 93% of our candidates receiving good to excellent feedback?

With 16 sector-specific branches across London, Teaching Personnel are well-equipped to fulfil your recruitment and staffing needs.

Teaching Personnel’s Catholic Schools Recruitment Partnership provides bespoke staffing solutions to individual schools, school groups, CMAT’s and Dioceses across England and Wales.

Teaching Personnel’s Catholic Schools Recruitment Partnership:

  • Delivers value for money through value added services alongside financial savings and rewards
  • Strengthens continuity of staff and supports high standards
  • Facilitates the sharing of temporary staff between schools within a group to secure high calibre flexible staff
  • Bespoke Catholic candidate orientation forums that induct our candidates who work in Catholic schools. The forum provides a valuable opportunity for candidates to become familiar and knowledgeable about the Catholic ethos.
  • Collaborative CPD opportunities between Teaching Personnel and individual Catholic schools, including Come and See training
  • Supports ongoing staff planning with dedicated and targeted recruitment of suitable candidates for Catholic schools
  • Contributes to whole school and pupil enrichment through value added services
  • Promotes pupil safeguarding and safer recruitment in education through an online Vetting Records Service, Central Vetting Team and Safeguarding CPD
  • Provides access to education professionals with the skills and experience to deliver high impact pupil interventions and SEN support

To hear more about how we tailor our recruitment services for Catholic Schools, please contact the Teaching Personnel London Bridge offices on: 0207 593 3088


“The Future Teachers programme has benefited our school in number of ways. We’ve been able to provide support lessons from well qualified and enthusiastic graduates with a passion for their subject. The graduates have in turn benefited from regular engagement with teachers in the subject area to help prepare them for a career in teaching. A number have gone on to successfully complete teacher training programmes and subsequently been recruited by us in teaching roles, confident that they know the school and we know their capabilities”

Sean McGovern – School Business Manager, St James High School.

Good News Section

Many Congratulations to St Edmund’s Primary School, Whitton who celebrated their 80th birthday on 10th January.  A small cutting from the local newspaper in 1939 acknowledging its opening can be found on our website (