Schools Bulletin: September 2016

Welcome to our September 2016 Bulletin

Welcome to the start of a new academic term and wishing all staff, governors and students a highly successful year ahead. May Christ be continually at the centre of everything you do. The academic performance of our schools has again witnessed outstanding results this summer and on behalf of the Education Service may I extend to you our gratitude and appreciation for all that you have achieved. We have a great deal to be proud in Catholic education and your continued commitment and dedication to seek the best in your student community is exemplary and highly valued.

The announcement by the Prime Minister to propose the removal of the 50% faith cap and allow Catholic schools to propose new Academies or Free Schools is both welcome and a challenge. The opportunity for a school to apply to become a grammar school will also require due diligence and consultation.  In the months ahead the Education Commission and the Trustees will examine the possibilities that these new initiatives will provide. The CES and others are to be congratulated for the commitment over the last five years to uphold the basic tenant of Canon 806 to maintain the fundamental nature of our admission criteria. The government has requested a consultation to be undertaken and I urge you to be involved in this, in dialogue and consultation with the CES.

The CES is currently considering the Consultation document and how to respond to it.  It is very important to ensure that the responses from the Catholic sector are helpful.  We will, therefore, be writing to you outlining the CES response and the proposed lines that we would suggest would be most helpful to include in any responses you, your schools, and the wider Catholic community should make, and would be asking that you encourage those responses.

The consultation can be downloaded through the following link:

I am delighted to welcome our new Chair of the Education Commission Bishop +John Wilson who has taken up his new role. Bishop Wilson has extensive experience of Catholic education in his previous diocese of Leeds. I am sure you will all welcome him and get to know him as well as the outgoing Chair Bishop +John Sherrington. Over the last five years Bishop Sherrington has been a tremendous support for our schools and colleges. He visited over 140 of them and his commitment, insight, scrutiny and encouragement to seek the best in all that we do in Catholic education will be greatly missed. I wish him well in his new role and it was a pleasure working with him.

This year the diocese has doubled the amount of courses available to your staff and governors. We hope the new CPD booklet has arrived and a copy is available on the diocesan website. Please encourage you staff and governors to attend course and training where appropriate.

In October the Trustees meet to discuss the next steps in Academy Policy formation for diocesan schools. Over the summer there has been extensive work done on researching the experiences of other dioceses in shaping their Academy programmes. The work is ongoing and will involve key stakeholders coming together this term to discuss the possibilities and opportunities Academies can bring to our family of schools. Later this term a policy will be sent to schools and colleges.

Finally, the Education Service was delighted to receive the individual stories of students who had excelled in the summer. They proved to be very enlightening and uplifting. The students are the reason we exist and in in dealing with all the challenges ahead this year we keep their journey of faith and learning central to all that we do.

With best wishes


JP Morrison

Director of Education

Primary Religious Education- Theology Courses

Primary Religious Education- Theology Courses

Sometimes primary teachers lack the subject knowledge required to confidently teach the Primary RE curriculum to enable students to work at the higher levels of attainment.  In an attempt to respond to this need, the Primary Advisory Team are leading sessions providing background theological knowledge to cover each of the main topics taught in Years 5 and 6.   We are hosting sessions designed to prepare teachers for what they will need to teach on a termly basis.  Many of the courses designed to provide knowledge for the Autumn term have already taken place and have been very positively received.

Course details to prepare for Spring Term and Summer Term topics can be found in our CPD programme.  Each school was sent two hard copies of the CPD programme and a downloadable PDF version can also be found on our website.

Contact:  Amanda Crowley,, 020 7798 9182

GCSE and A-Level Religious Education 

GCSE and A-Level Religious Education 

Comprehensive  support is being provided to all of our Secondary Schools and Sixth Form Colleges in relation to the new Religious Studies GCSE and A Level specifications.

  • Secondary RE NQT Day – 7th October – 9.30– 3.30pm – Vaughan House
  • Head of RE Day Conference – 3rd November– 9.30 – 3.30pm – Vaughan House
  • Catholic Artefacts – 28th November– 3.30– 5.30pm – V&A Museum

The following schools are kindly planning to host Teach Meets for the RS exam specification they are using:



School: Nicholas Breakspear

Board: EDEXCEL GCSE and A Level

Date: To be confirmed

Contact: Head of RE, Hannah McDonald –


East London

School: Bishop Challoner

Board: AQA Religious Studies B: Catholic Christianity with Judaism (with Ethics).

Date: Monday 10th October 4:00pm-5:00pm

Contact: Head of RE, Sharon Jarvis –


North London

School: St Ignatius

Board: EDEXCEL and OCR A Level

Date: To be confirmed

Contact: Head of RE, Susana Opoku-Gyamfi –


West London

School: Douay Martyrs


Date: To be confirmed

Contact: Head of RE, Maxine Potgieter –


Please do email the Head of RE if you would like to be involved so they can plan appropriately.

There is still the need for more Teach Meets so if you would also like to host one please do inform a member of the Secondary Advisory Team.

Contact:  Claire O’Neill,, 020 7798 9005

or Trisha Hedley,, 020 798 9005

Headteacher Forum

Headteacher Forum

In an effort to increase our communication and insight into the needs of schools we are hosting a termly Headteachers’ Discussion Forum at Vaughan House.  Each deanery is requested to nominate a representative to attend each meeting who can highlight the current local issues and subsequently feedback to the deanery.

Full details of the forums appear in our CPD programme but please see a summary below:

Tuesday 1st November 1.00 – 3.00pm

Tuesday 21st February 1.00 – 3.00pm

Tuesday 6th June 1.00 – 3.00pm

All deaneries are encouraged to send a representative.

Contact:  Amanda Crowley,, 020 7798 9182

Teacher Recruitment Offer to Diocesan Schools

TEACHER RECRUITMENT offer to Diocesan Schools

We are pleased to announce that we have secured a generous discount with leading education recruitment provider Eteach for a further 12 months. With over 15 years’ experience, Eteach help schools recruit better, smarter and faster, by providing a number of Talent Management Solutions including best value advertising, education recruitment experts and innovative technology to deliver outstanding candidate results.

Over the course of the last year, more than 80 of our schools have made use of this service, which has provided exposure to over 1.4 million education professionals and resulted in significant cost savings.

The Eteach Annual Licence includes;
•          Unlimited advertising of all roles on
•          A search engine optimised and customisable career site.
•          Increased candidate attraction with your own school talent pool
•          Access to the regional talent pool to where your school is located
•          Application Tracking Software
•          A dedicated account manager for all member schools in the Diocese of Westminster
•          All vacancies will automatically be placed on the DOW central careers page.

Diocese of Westminster Licence Holders have so far received:
•          Over 99% of roles have received downloads, the average amount being 10.
•          An average of 442 views per adverts.
•          Over 5,381 downloads of vacancies across the member schools.


We are pleased to provide your schools with all of this at a 25% discounted rate of for Diocesan schools at £750+VAT for a Primary School and £2,996+VAT for a Secondary School.

This offer expires on 30th October 2016.

To take advantage of this offer or for further information, contact Mike Griffin, Strategic Account Director at Eteach on 07789 110 861 or email


Contact:  Mike Pittendreigh,, 020 7798 9005

Changes to CES Model Employment Procedures

Changes to CES Model Employment Procedures

The CES have made some amendments to the Model Employment Procedures they publish. These are the procedures (Appraisal, Discipline, Grievance, Sickness, Capability) which should be used by all Catholic schools.

The changes are mainly technical ironing out a few glitches in the previous documents.

Please ensure that these procedures are adopted at the Governors first meeting in the Autumn term (they now need to be signed) and that they are made available to staff (usually electronically these days). You are able to personalise the documents for your house style, but you are advised not to make any changes to the documents without legal advice.

The link to the procedures is below, and you will also find the template letters there. Please make sure you use the English version rather than the Welsh, and that you choose English School or English Academy.

Updated Procedures (2016)

Contact:  Mike Pittendreigh,, 020 7798 9005

Inspection Update

Inspection Update

The style of report for Diocesan Inspections is changing from this September. The summary of the findings on the front page will take a bullet point format, which will enable the essential findings to be more easily identified. The subsequent sections on classroom religious education and on Catholic life, which have more detailed information, will continue to be written in prose. However the length of these sections will be restricted. Information about the school and about the inspection will now be at the back of the report. It is hoped that this new format will help parents in particular to pick out the key strengths of a school, whilst enabling inspectors to give a true reflection of the ‘flavour’ of the school as seen during the inspection. This new format will be reviewed at the end of this term.

A reminder:

The Diocese of Westminster Framework for Inspection sets out a 5 year inspection cycle for schools judged to be good or outstanding. However, as there has been a backlog, schools have generally been inspected within 5 years and one term. Over recent years, there has been an increase in the number of inspections each term and so during this academic year, the original 5 year cycle will be re-established. There will be a few schools inspected this term who are the last of the ‘5 years and 1 term cycle’, but all others judged good or outstanding in the academic year 2011 – 2012 should expect to be inspected at any time during the academic year 2016 – 2017.

Contact: Jane Goring, Chief Inspector, 07710 088910

Letter from the Editor of the Westminster Year Book

Letter from the Editor of the Westminster Year Book

I am presently editing the 2017 edition of the Westminster Year Book, which will have details of your school and all the others in the diocese. In addition it has full information on the parishes, complete clergy lists, contact details for central diocesan services, listings for Catholic Societies and Organisations and the 2017 Liturgical Calendar.

It may well be that you already obtain copies of the Book through your local parish; if so, please continue to do so. If you do not, then I attach an Order Form which you can return to this office, and copies will be dispatched to you as soon as they arrive from the printer, shortly before the beginning of Advent.

If you do not have the Year Book in school, then please consider obtaining it. Much information is available on various websites, but the Book remains a ‘one-stop shop’ for diocesan information. Standard and ring-bound copies are both produced, and the latter is particularly suitable for office and chapel use.

I hope that the 2017 Year Book will be helpful to you for diocesan and other purposes in your school.

Yours sincerely, Fr John Scott, Editor

Order Form



A big thank you to the 30+ schools that have already sent in their 2018-19 admission policy and SIF to the diocese. Please would remaining schools send in their admission arrangements as soon as possible. If governors wish to change anything in the arrangements then they will have to be sent out to consultation for 6 weeks between 1st October 2016 – 31st January 2017.

For further information please contact

Certificate of Catholic Practice

Certificate of Catholic Practice

All schools must now be using the Certificate of Catholic Practice issued by the Bishops’ Conference.

Parents can obtain this Certificate from the priest at the parish where they worship. It is also available here: Certificate of Catholic Practice


Upcoming Courses for Governors

Upcoming Courses for Governors

New Chairs of governors (appointed from September 2015), on 8th October;

School Admissions (for all members of the admissions committee and new governors) on 15th October and 19thNovember;

Complaints Procedures (for all members of the complaints committee and new governors) on 5th November;

New Governors (for all governors appointed since September 2015) on 12th November;

Freedom of Information and Data Protection (all governors) on 3rd December.

For further information please contact




This term, the Education Service will be collecting and collating the second annual comprehensive data return of registered pupils attending a mainstream voluntary aided schools and academies. The enumeration date for this academic year is: Thursday 6th October 2016. Last year, the simplified return system proved to be very popular with school staff. Therefore, we will continue to accept Excel or CSV spreadsheet generated from your school’s School Information Management System. In preparing your data return, please generate a SIMS Excel/CSV report containing the following fields:

  • UPN (Unique Pupil Number)
  • DOB (Date of Birth)
  • Religion
  • Postcode (Child/Young Person’s main home address)
  • Gender

When naming and saving your Excel/CSV file, please use the following naming protocol: DOW ENUM OCT2016 (#######). The 7 # symbols in parenthesis should be replaced by the seven digit LA and school number that is assigned to your school or academy. Schools and academies that have pupils in nursery or young adults in 6th form are asked to include those pupils/students in their return. Please email your generated report to, including the protocol name in the subject line of your email, by 15:00 hours on Friday 7th October 2016.

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

Contact: Nigel Spears, 07738183828

LCVAP 2017/18

The 2017/18 LCVAP funding application process is now live. The governing bodies of Catholic Voluntary Aided (VA) Schools are invited to submit 1 (ONE) Condition Related LCVAP proposal for a capital project, to be delivered within the 2017/18 financial year. Once again, the application form is online. Please open the link below and complete the proposal form. Applications may be submitted by a designated member of the school community or by the Building Consultant retained as a professional advisor by the Governing Body.

The link to our online form is:

Please note:

  • Your submission must be received between 09:00 on Tuesday 22nd September and 12:00 Noon on Friday 21st October 2016 to be eligible for consideration. Submissions received after Noon on October 21st will not be accepted for the 2017/18 funding round.
  • Only one application per school is allowed. Therefore, if two or more proposals from a school are received, only the final/most recent submission will be retained and considered. All earlier submissions will be purged from our database.
  • Applications from schools that have not submitted the Enumeration Day data referred to above may be suspended or rejected at the discretion of the Education Commission. The decision of the commission is final.

An A4 Word document (maximum of 2 pages) containing supplementary information and/or pertinent photographs can be submitted by email. When naming and saving your Word document, please use the following naming protocol: DOW LCVAP 2017-18 (#######). The 7 # symbols in parenthesis should be replaced by the seven digit LA and school number that is assigned to your school.

Please email your additional information document to, including the protocol name in the subject line of your email by 12:00 Noon on Friday 21stOctober 2015.

In the second half of the Autumn Term, all proposals will be scrutinised by Diocesan Officers in Finance, Property and Education. Projects will be ranked and then presented to the Diocesan Schools Building Committee and the Education Commission (Capital Strategy Committee) for their consideration and approval. Information relating to the allocation of LCVAP Grants will be published in the spring-term of 2017.

Contact: Nigel Spears., 07738183828

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 Martin de Porres Primary School, Haringey on being awarded Level 5 by the Royal Horticultural Society.  This is the top level for gardening that the RHS awards to schools.

In addition, St Gregory’s Catholic Science College in Kenton has won “Best School Garden” in a national garden competition.