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Schools Bulletin November 2005
posted on 01 November 2005
Catholic Diocese of Westminster
Diocese of Westminster

Items marked* do not apply to independent schools

From the Director of Education

If all the changes proposed in the government’s White Paper take place, we could see some of the most far-reaching changes in our education system for many years. We need to be careful, as details emerge, to ensure that the system of Catholic education which our community enjoys is strengthened rather than undermined by them. Your Education Service is committed to working with all its schools to ensure that a Catholic voice is heard in the forthcoming debate at all levels.

As the recent changes to our Service are being implemented during this term, we are trying to develop strategies to improve the regular conversations we are having with all our schools. Making sure we are involved in local meetings of schools, such as deanery meetings which take place in many parts of the diocese is one part of this strategy. A one-day conference of secondary schools to talk about issues connected with school admissions (further details enclosed) is another part of that process.

Many readers will have seen the advertisements for the remaining vacancies caused by the restructuring of the service. We hope to have recruited to these posts very shortly. In addition, Sr Sheila McNamara has accepted a new post as an Adviser in her native diocese of Hexham and Newcastle. We congratulate Sr Sheila on this appointment, but recognise that their gain will be our loss. Sr Sheila has contributed enormously to the Education Service during her time ‘down here’, and is currently doing an excellent job in leading our team of Primary Advisers, which she started this term. By agreement with Hexham and Newcastle, Sr Sheila will continue in that capacity until after Easter 2006, when she will be replaced by her successor. Details of the post will be advertised soon, and colleagues are asked to point this out to any possible candidates for this role

This diocese was particularly successful in securing capital funding in the latest Targeted Capital Fund bidding round. Successful bids amounted to more than £22m worth of projects. There were, of course, inevitable disappointments with the schemes that did not secure funding, but overall the level of success was higher than could numerically be expected. Much of this was due to the high quality of the bids themselves, reflecting much hard work on the part of governors, building consultants and the diocese working together.

Paul Barber

Teaching and Learning Responsibilities*

The CES has now sent guidance on Teaching and Learning Responsibilities to all head teachers.

In case this has not been received please find a hard copy enclosed.

Contact Maureen Roe on 020 7798 9005 or email maureenroe@rcdow.org.uk

Admissions*

Before the end of this term or very early in the Spring term, all governing bodies should review their Admission Policies for school entry 2007 as all admission authorities have to consult other admission authorities within an area called the ‘relevant area’ by 1st March 2006. After consultation, admission authorities must determine their admission arrangements by 15th April 2006 and notify all those consulted. There is a responsibility on LEAs to determine the ‘relevant area’. Please could all schools send a copy of their proposed 2007 Admissions Policy to Maureen Roe when it has been reviewed so that the Diocese is part of the consultation process.

Contact Maureen Roe 020 7798 9005 or email maureenroe@rcdow.org.uk

Admissions Conference

Please find enclosed a flier and booking form for the above Conference for Secondary Schools to be held on Wednesday January 11th at The Pastoral Centre, London Colney. The conference will cover a range of admission issues and discussion points. The target audience is Chairs of Governors and Head Teachers.

Contact Maureen Roe on 020 7798 9005 or email maureenroe@rcdow.org.uk

Leadership in Catholic Education

Please find enclosed fliers and booking forms advertising forthcoming courses for leadership. The Aspiring Deputy Headteachers Course is at Great Missenden Weds 25 th January to Friday 27 th January. This course is essential preparation for appointment to deputy headship in a Catholic school.

To book on this course please contact Janet Simmons on 01277 265284. The closing date is Tuesday 29th November 2005.

Towards Leadership in a Catholic School

This course is aimed at colleagues who may, in the longer term, consider applying for Deputy Headship, but for whom the Aspiring Deputies’ course is not yet appropriate. This day course is to be held at Vaughan House on Friday 10 th February 2005. See attached flier and booking form.

Please contact Maureen Roe on 020 7798 9005 or email maurenroe@rcdow.org.uk

Handbook of Courses

A Handbook of Courses for The Education Service will be publicised shortly. The handbook will cover all courses in the Spring and Summer Term. Wherever possible it will also give dates for the next academic year. The Handbook will be sent to all schools and parishes at the start of the Spring Term.

Contact Maureen Roe on 020 7798 9005 or email maureenroe@rcdow.org.uk

Induction Day for new governors – and those needing a refresher

This day session is planned for Saturday 21st January 2006 at Vaughan House. The closing date for application is Wednesday 18th January 2006. For further details see attached flier and pro forma.

Contact Maureen Roe on 020 7798 9005 or email maureenroe@rcdow.org.uk

A Guide to the Law for School Governors*

The next hard copy edition of ‘A Guide to the Law for School Governors’ is due to be published in January 2006. The guide is undergoing a major overhaul, with improvements being made to the layout and indexing. Representatives from the DfES, governors, governor organisations and the National Coordinators of Governor Services have been consulted and agreement reached that the current four versions of the guide should be merged into one composite edition. The system of online termly amendments will continue.

Contact Maureen Roe on 020 7798 9005 or email maureenroe@rcdow.org.uk

Inspections Update and the Catholic SEFs.

The new inspection framework came into operation on 1 September 2005. Inspections announced under the short notice arrangements, usually 2 days, despite causing some initial shocks, have been well received by the schools and the pattern is now more established. The short notice has been demanding also for the diocese and we have appreciated the quick response of the inspectors and the schools to ensure that the diocesan inspection is alongside. Apart from one very early inspection the 2 inspections have run in parallel and this is of great benefit to the work and development of the school.

Thank you to everyone who has sent in their SEF 48 documents. Please note that the email address is SEF48@rcdow.org.uk. If you experience any difficulty please send it as an attachment. For those who have not yet finished the SEF48 i.e. the summary of your self evaluation, please remember to use your existing findings to reach your Part A judgements and don’t start again with Part B unless you have no

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