Dear Colleague in Catholic Education,
On 24th March 1980, St Oscar Romero, the Archbishop of San Salvador, was assassinated on the orders of the government while celebrating Mass. His sermons and life have as much resonance today as they did in 1980. He stood up against injustice and was an advocate for the poor. During this time of Lent we are reminded of his hard hitting words, “It is a caricature of love to cover over with alms what is lacking in justice, to patch over with an appearance of benevolence when social justice is missing. “ Our schools should continue to be witnesses to social justice.
Cardinal Appeal’s Food Resilience Project – Appeal for Project Hosts
Food poverty is an increasing issue in our communities and the Cardinal has put it at the centre of his Lenten Appeal. The Cardinal is seeking support for a diocesan-wide Food Resilience project that aims to provide direct food relief plus advice and skills to develop food resilience. An advocacy campaign to effect change and address the underlying causes of food poverty will also accompany the project. The first phase of the project is the provision of a coordinated and considerably expanded programme of holiday feeding and activities for children who do not have access to their free school meals in the holidays and suffer accordingly. We are asking for every school to please take 5 minutes to complete the survey below which aims to measure capacity for and interest in, hosting part of the summer programme. This programme and other food-related initiatives will continue to be rolled out in the diocese over the next 3 years, so if you do not feel you are able to help this summer there will be plenty of other opportunities later on so your information would be very helpful to us. Please follow this link to complete the survey, which we need to receive by end of play, Friday, 5 April. Thank you.
We also have a vacancy for a part-time administrator for the project – details can be found by following this link to the RCDOW jobs site https://jobs.rcdow.org.uk/food-resilience-project-administrator-caritas-westminster/
We are conscious that may of our schools run or contribute to foodbanks and do a wide variety of intervention and support measures to help support our communities. We are very grateful that you do so.
During the last few weeks we have been holding our annual conferences for senior leaders across the Diocese. These events are well attended and gratefully received. The Education Service is very appreciative that Headteachers and Governors support attendance at these events at a time when budgets are exceptionally tight. Faith renewal and professional development are at the heart of what we set out to achieve and the feedback we receive each year is exceptionally positive. Please continue to support these events. The bringing together of the family of schools must always be supported and nurtured.
Finally, it is with sadness that I have to inform you that Sr. Dorothy Bell RIP, who was a long-standing member of the Education Commission, had sadly passed away. Her funeral took place at Digby Stuart College Chapel on Wednesday 20th March. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.
Thank you for all you are doing to support, promote and protect Catholic education across our Diocese.
With best wishes.
Director of Education
Recently the Government published updated draft guidance for Relationships, Sex and Health Education which will be debated and voted on in Parliament before becoming statutory. This was slightly earlier than expected but fits in with our anticipated timeline of introduction in September 2020. The draft guidance, updated draft regulations and the Government response to the consultation can be found on the DfE website here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/relationships-and-sex-education-and-health-education
The CES statement in response to the draft guidance was an overwhelmingly positive one:
We welcome this commitment by the Government to improve Relationships and Sex Education in all schools. Catholic education is centred on the formation of the whole child and age appropriate RSE is an essential part of this. It is essential for creating well-rounded young people, for equipping students to make good life choices, and for keeping our children safe. As such, the Catholic schools’ sector is the only one in the country to have a comprehensive and holistic RSE curriculum for ages 3-19. The proposals announced by the Government today are compatible with the Catholic model curriculum. In fact, the Government’s own statutory guidance recognises the Catholic RSE curriculum as an excellent example for schools to use and is one of the few external organisations the guidance referenced as best practice examples. The Catholic Church teaches that parents are the prime educators of their children and we are pleased to see the Government sharing this fundamental principle.
The CES have informed dioceses that they will be working closely with the DfE on the provision of training and resources for Catholic specific RSE in the coming months. As a diocese, we intend to host our own termly RSE training days, beginning in October. In the meantime, schools should focus on using the CES RSE materials and model curriculum document https://education.rcdow.org.uk/re-catholic-life/relationships-and-sex-education/
Contact: Amanda Crowley email@example.com
Following the completion of the Year 4 ‘No More Marking’ Comparative Judgement pilot, the Primary team are now preparing to move forward with a second pilot beginning in the first half of the summer term. This will involve Years 1 and 5 completing tasks based on the topic, "The Eucharist." Using a report produced by ‘No More Marking’ the Primary Team will produce further exemplar materials. It is the intention that these materials, along with ones compiled from the Year 4 Pilot will be available at the June moderations sessions. At present, we are looking for a further 2 schools willing to trial the materials in a Year 1 class and a Year 5 class. If your school has begun to work with the new standards framework and is interested in participating, please contact Diana Roberts who will provide further information.
Contact: Diana Roberts firstname.lastname@example.org
A trial took place with 2 schools from Westminster, Hexham and Newcastle, Birmingham and Liverpool Dioceses. Year 7 students completed a task on the importance of the Incarnation for Catholics. Judgments of the work took place in several schools within those dioceses. The advisers from those dioceses were joined by the advisers from Brentwood, Hallam and the National RE adviser who met to analyse the responses and link the answers to the New Standards in RE in order to produce exemplification of the skills at KS3. These will be fed back to schools as part of their CPD in the Summer term.
Contact: Trisha Hedley email@example.com
LCVAP 2019/20 (and HPCF 2019/20): We are still waiting for the Secretary of State to announce the School Capital Investment Programme (SCIP) for 2019/20. Once this information has been received and processed, the Education Commission will confirm the list of projects that will receive a grant from the SCIP and schools that have secured funding from the 2019/20 allocation round will be notified as quickly as possible. The DfE is currently forecasting an announcement in late March.
PUPIL PLACEMENT PLANNING: APPLICATIONS DATA SUBMISSION DAY 2018
Thank you to those schools that submitted the requested data. Governors and School Leaders can access the data representation at:
Contact: Nigel Spears. firstname.lastname@example.org, 07738183828
SPEC is dedicated to providing a space for children and young people to retreat from the rush of daily life in order to reflect on their faith and, hopefully contribute to meeting the spiritual needs in their lives. Every retreat participant is invited to encounter Christ through group activities such as talks, testimony and prayer exercises, reconciliation and Eucharistic Adoration, and to share their faith journey, identifying what makes each of our lives unique: our families, our friends, our likes, our dislikes and our struggles. The hope is that by the end of a retreat all participants are able to see the image of GOD reflected in their relationships with each other.
You and your school are invited to visit SPEC and see how we can work TOGETHER in the faith journey of our young people. Please see the attached leaflet for further information
For more information and all enquiries please contact:
Maria West, SPEC Retreat Centre Manager, E: email@example.com, T: 020 37572507
‘The tutor is so knowledgeable and such an interesting lady I could listen to her all day’
‘Although I teach 4 and 5 year olds I have already been able to use some of the things learnt in the sessions about the Trinity and Incarnation to teach my class’
‘I will feel much more confident delivering this’ (Sacraments at KS3)
These are just a few of the many positive comments received from teachers currently studying on CCRS courses. Due to increasing interest and demand, there are now three new opportunities to study for the Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies. The first two of these will be taught as twilight sessions in Diocesan schools and we are very grateful to the host schools for providing the venue:
- Augustine’s Priory, Ealing starting on 2 May and running on Thursdays from 4-6pm. Final date for applications to be received is Thursday 4 April.
- Cardinal Pole School, Hackney starting on 25 September and running on Wednesdays from 4-6pm.
The third course provides an opportunity for teachers who find it difficult to attend twilight sessions and so runs on two consecutive Saturdays per module from 10 – 3.30pm at Vaughan House, Victoria. The first module on Old Testament will be taught on 21 and 28 September.
Registration forms and a course overview can be found at: https://education.rcdow.org.uk/professional-development/ccrs
For further information please contact: Liz O’Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org 07738183831
To ensure that foundation governors and clerks know the correct date to apply for re-appointment please apply the following:
The term of office of a foundation governor expires on 31st August following the 3rd anniversary of appointment. For example, a governor appointed on 2nd January 2016 and a governor appointed on 1st September 2015 will both need to renew by 31st August 2019.
Those needing to renew for 31st August 2019 should apply for re-appointment using the forms on the diocesan website https://education.rcdow.org.uk/governance-admissions/foundation-governors/
Forms should be sent either by post or email to email@example.com
Please start this process immediately after Easter. You can expedite your application by ensuring that your referee and parish priest return their references as soon as possible and that the school returns the DBS clearance. Governors who do not renew by the time their term of office has expired are unable to vote in governing body meetings and do not count towards the quorum.
The diocese is undertaking an audit of the constitution of the governing bodies of all schools in the diocese.
Your clerk will be contacted so that we can verify the information we hold and ensure that any difficulties are worked out. If your school has any particular difficulties with the Instrument of Government or the constitution of the GB please notify the diocese and we will do what we can to help.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We are now approaching a year since the GDPR came into force. This is a good time for governing bodies to receive a report from their Data Protection Officer (DPO) on the current state of affairs regarding data protection in their school. If you have not already done so, now is a good time to fix an annual agenda item for the DPO’s report to governors. For academies, it may be appropriate for the DPO to report directly to the Academy Trust. Recently the ICO has announced that it will be carrying out Data Protection Audits in schools. These will be in consultation with the school and officers will not arrive unannounced. In preparation for this GBs should consider providing an update on GDPR for all governors and staff, to let them know about the audit and to ensure that data protection continues to have a high profile within the school.
An update on Data Protection and Freedom of Information will take place at Nicholas Breakspear School on Wednesday 27th March at 6.00pm. Sessions can also be arranged in other parts of the diocese on request.
For further details please contact email@example.com or book on GovernorHub.
Your 2020 – 2021 policy and SIF should now have been sent to the LA and be up on the school website in an easily accessible position. Admission Arrangements for 2021 – 2022 can now be sent to the diocese. For schools that wish to amend their policy or those who have not consulted for 7 years, the consultation period begins on 1st October 2019 sand lasts for 6 weeks.
For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For those facing admission appeals, there is governor training for Presenting officers (i.e. the governor who presents the school’s case to the Admission Appeals Panel) on 1st May at 6.00pm at Nicholas Breakspear School and on 19th June at 6.00pm at St Mark’s School, Hounslow. All governors should receive this training. There will be training for those wishing to serve on an Admission Appeals Panel on Tuesday 11th June 10.00am – 3.00pm at Vaughan House.
For information on all these please contact email@example.com or book on GovernorHub.
A reminder that all governors and staff need to be aware of the School Complaints Procedure and how to use it effectively. The most difficult complaints are those where the proper procedure has not been followed from the beginning. This training is particularly useful for new governors.
There will be governor training on Complaints Procedures on Wednesday 15th May at 6.00pm at Vaughan House.
For further information and to register please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or book on GovernorHub.
For new governors and for those wishing to refresh their training, these areas will be covered in governor training on 3rd April 2019 at St Mark’s School, Hounslow.
For further info and to register please contact email@example.com or book on GovernorHub.
This training is also available for individual governing bodies or groups of governing bodies, on request.
Governor information sessions on transgender issues are available to schools or groups of schools on request. One of the most important requirements for schools in these matters is that they should be informed and that they should have considered the information provided. These sessions provide the current legal situation and the viewpoint of the Catholic Church.
For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
There has been a small amendment to the Inspection Handbook to reflect the fact that assessment is moving from a hierarchical framework that ranks skills to a system which emphasises the development and deepening of skills over time, not in any particular order of difficulty. The Evaluation Schedule for ‘Quality of Teaching’ on page 22 of the Handbook refers to ‘higher order questioning’ which is terminology based on Bloom’s Taxonomy. This has been changed to ‘challenging questioning’ so that there is a common approach to terminology in the Inspection Handbook and the new approach to assessment. The most recent edition of the Inspection Handbook (January 2019) can be found in the Diocesan Inspection section of the Education Service website.
On rare occasions, schools request that an expected Diocesan inspection should not go ahead. In order to be able to consider these requests in a fair and transparent manner, the Inspection Committee has approved a deferral policy. This outlines the situations for determining that an inspection of a school or college should not go ahead on the planned dates. This deferral policy can be found on the Diocesan Inspection section of the Education Service website.
Jane Goring, Chief Inspector, email@example.com 020 7798 9183
All schools and parish priests have been invited to attend the Adoremus Mass on 18th June. Deaneries have been contributing to ‘Our Eucharistic Journey’ folders which will be taken up at the opening procession during this Mass. Some deaneries have also been working together to do something special for the year. For example, in Kensington and Chelsea there was a pilgrimage for year 6 pupils which culminated in Exposition in Westminster Cathedral. Pupils’ artwork will be displayed in St Patrick’s Chapel during the month of June.
New resources have been created to further support schools with Eucharistic worship as well as strengthening the links between Scripture, Eucharist and Mission. For more details please see:
For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org