Schools Bulletin: May 2016

bishop challoner
Welcome to our May 2016 Bulletin

Dear Colleague in Catholic Education,

On behalf of the Education Service I would like to take this opportunity to wish every success to every student about to undertake a public examination this term. We are very proud of the way in which our staff and students work together to achieve so much for both the individual and the whole community. All our schools take great pride in preparing the whole person in character formation as well as academic endeavour. We hope the weeks ahead will bring accomplishment and achievement regardless of ability.

In May and June the diocese will be consulting and listening to all stakeholders as part of our Academy Policy Review. The Academy Policy Review Committee (APRC) has the responsibility to provide the Trustees with a series of recommendations and proposals that will help shape the Academy Diocesan Policy in July 2016. They in turn will make recommendations and need for due diligence in key areas for a Draft Policy to be presented for consultation in September 2016 to our Governing Bodies and Headteachers. At the appropriate time all local authorities and professional associations at regional level will be consulted to ensure that they too understand the policy and steer of the diocese.

We will continue to produce monthly briefing papers and we will be reshaping the Diocesan website to keep you informed of progress being made in key areas. This process should not be seen as an imposition, but rather a compelling invitation to secure Catholic education in the precarious financial waters we are steering towards in the next 4 years. This is about taking control of our own future and not waiting for others to determine it for us. It cannot be underestimated how important it is to get this right for the future of all our schools.

The Academy Information evenings proposed so far are for Heads, Chairs and Vice Chairs to attend.

The meetings proposed so far are as follows:

Monday 23rd May at 6pmSt Mark’s Catholic School, Hounslow, TW3 3EJ – for all schools in Hounslow, Ealing, Hillingdon, Harrow and Richmond and Surrey;

Monday 6th June at 5pm: Cardinal Pole School, Hackney, E9 6LG – for all schools in Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Islington;

Monday 13th June at 6pmSt Mary’s Catholic High School, Bishop Stortford, CM23 2NQ – for all schools in East Hertfordshire;

Tuesday 21st June at 6pmBishop Douglass School, Barnet, N2 0SQ – for all schools in Barnet, Haringey, Brent and Enfield.

It is our intention to add one more for the schools in north Hertfordshire and the venue and date is still to be determined. If the date clashes with a pre-arranged meeting please feel free to attend the closest to you for convenience and let the diocese know of your intentions.

Next month the diocese will be hosting the annual Primary Deputy Headteachers’ Conference in Norwich from June 6th to 8th. Guest speakers include Mary Benton, St Mary’s University; David Wells, Plymouth Diocese; and Sr Gemma Simmonds SJ, Heythrop College.  The theme is A fresh look at Catholic School Leadership in the Year of Mercy and the era of Pope Francis. Please contact Margaret Theissl for booking arrangements.

As part of the Year of Mercy Celebrations we are working in conjunction with St Thomas More Language College, Kensington & Chelsea, to promote a Poetry competition for all Schools.

Please find attached a flyer promoting the Year of Mercy poetry competition by STMLC – the resources are on their website:

For Secondary Schools we are organising a pilgrimage to Westminster Cathedral.  A group will be setting out from St Edmund’s College, Ware on Friday 1st July, stopping overnight at the YHA Cheshunt and camping out.  We will be following the path of the River Lea from Ware until London, as far as Kings Cross, and from there continue to Victoria. The plan is for each school to follow a route from their school to arrive at the Cathedral in time for the 11.00am Mass on the Saturday 2ndJuly, followed by refreshments. Full details will be sent directly to schools this month. We would welcome 4 to 5 students from each school could be involved, however we can certainly accommodate more.

Thank you for all you are doing to support and promote Catholic education.

With best wishes

JP Morrison

Director of Education




In order to avoid unnecessary appeals it is important, at this time of year, for schools to check the local authority website to ensure that the correct version of the school’s 2017-18 policy and SIF are displayed. If the correct determined arrangements are not displayed please contact your local authority immediately.

For further information please contact

Admission Appeals

Admission Appeals

For those involved in admission appeals there is ‘Presenting Officers’ training for governors and headteachers at Vaughan House on 21st May 2016: 10.00am – 1.00pm. This training will assist presenting officers in the preparation and presentation of their case to the admission appeals panel. All members of the admissions committee should have completed this training.

To register please contact

Complaints Procedures

Complaints Procedures

Schools are reminded of the need to adopt the diocesan complaints procedure on an annual basis. This procedure is based on DfE guidelines and formulated specifically for our Catholic schools. An updated version can be found on the diocesan website.

For further information please contact



Priority School Building Programme 2 (PSBP2): We are pleased to announce that the Education Funding Agency (EFA) has begun the process of formally engaging with the 12 Catholic Schools/Academies from our Diocese that have been selected from the programme. St Richard Reynolds Catholic College, Richmond was identified as the first to engage in the next phase and representatives from Diocesan Property and Education join the College’s Principal, Chair and Building Consultants Leaders/Governors for a frank but positive session with those representing the EFA. Richard Reynolds is the first of three schemes that will be developed and delivered by the Diocese.

Pupil Placement Planning

Pupil Placement Planning

Reminder: The designated date for this year’s application/allocation survey is Thursday 9 June 2016. Full details can be found in the March 2016 Bulletin.

If you have any questions relating to this survey, please email

Primary Cross-Diocesan Moderation

Primary Cross-Diocesan Moderation

Due to unavoidable circumstances the Cross-Diocesan Moderation session on Friday 17th June 2016 has had to be cancelled but an extra Cross- Diocesan Moderation session will be provided on Thursday 16th June 2016.

The three Cross-Diocesan Moderation sessions are as follows:

Thursday 16th June 2016 1.30-3.30pm at Vaughan House

Thursday 23rd June 2016 1.30-3.30pm at Vaughan House

Monday 27th June 2016 1.30-3.30pm at Niland Centre, Bushey

Attendance must be booked through Margaret Theissl at our Hendon Office.

Her email contact is



This is a reminder for all schools that the version of ‘The Agreed Understandings’ to be used in assessment and moderation of religious education in the diocese is the document which is currently on the diocesan website dated September 2014.

The Advisory Team

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 )

St Robert Southwell Catholic Primary School has been nationally recognised for its exceptional 2015 performance by the Schools, Students and Teachers network (SSAT).

St Gregory’s High School, Kenton, has been short listed for the TES Secondary School of the Year award and

St Joseph’s, Highgate, has been awarded the National Governance Award.


Many congratulations!