Dear Colleagues in Catholic Education, As we begin the new academic year I write on behalf of the team at the DES offering our prayers and good wishes for the school year ahead. I do hope that you have all enjoyed a restful summer break and are now ready for all that is ahead of us during this new school year.
In a special way I would like to offer a word of congratulations and support to all those recently taking up new leadership positions in the Diocese at this time, especially:
Vivien McDonald, Our Lady’s, Tile Cross, Birmingham Mary Lynch, SS Mary & John’s, Erdington, Birmingham Melanie Elliott, SS John & Monica, Moseley, Birmingham Wendell Gopaul, St Anne’s, Birmingham Catherine Buck, St Gerard’s, Castle Vale, Birmingham Paul Greavy, St Joseph’s, Kings Norton, Birmingham Michael Doyle, St Elizabeth’s, Coventry Geraldine Marshall, St Gregory’s, Coventry Richard May, Bishop Milner, Dudley Tara Davies, Our Lady’s, Cowley, Oxfordshire Rachel Gavin, Sacred Heart, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire Lisa Smith, St Joseph’s, Carterton, Oxfordshire Julie Foley, St Augustine’s, Solihull Isabel Walker, SS Joseph & Theresa’s, Chasetown, Staffordshire Nicola Hannett, St Anne’s, Stafford, Staffordshire Claire Tomlinson, St Filumena’s, Caverswall, Staffordshire Louise Sassi, St Joseph’s, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire Zoe Cooper, St Maria Goretti, Bucknall, Stoke-on-Trent Suzie Wilson, Our Lady & St Teresa’s, Cubbington, Warwickshire Kirsty Holden, St Joseph’s, Darlaston, Walsall Pauline Hanrahan, St Francis of Assisi, Aldridge, Walsall Matthew Pitcher, St Teresa’s, Wolverhampton Emma Brocklesby Hancock, St Ambrose, Kidderminster, Worcestershire Greg McClarey, Blessed Edward Oldcorne, Worcester Suzanne Horan, Hagley, Worcester Chris Martin (Head of School), St Thomas Aquinas, Kings Norton, Birmingham Chris Billings (Head of School) Bishop Ullathorne, Coventry Thomas Leverage (Head of School) Cardinal Wiseman, Coventry Jayne Crean (Acting Head) St Andrew’s, Olton, Solihull Lisa Boland (Head of School) St Mary’s, Brewood, Staffordshire Michele Hoyle (Head of School) St Austin’s, Stafford Margaret Gourlay (Head of School) Our Lady’s, Alcester Sarah Hubbard (Head of School) St Anne’s, Nuneaton
At the DES we welcome back to our team Angela Whelan who was seconded for two terms of the last academic year to Cardinal Wiseman School in Coventry. We are delighted to have her back with us supporting the schools of the Diocese.
I am very pleased to welcome Ted Hammond to the DES team. During the next academic year Ted will be working with us to provide support to our secondary schools as they address the school improvement agenda. He will also share his expertise as a head and accounting officer in supporting the diocesan academy strategy and school leadership formation. I know his work will make a great contribution to the support and direction that the DES offers schools.
Over the coming months the DES will be focused upon supporting schools through our Catholic leadership formation programmes, the diocesan academy strategy, inspections and RE and most importantly developing the Catholic life of our schools. We are also taking a lead role in working with other dioceses across the country and with the Catholic Education Service and the National Board of Religious Inspectors and Advisers to support the strengthening of Catholic education at this time. During the year we will be keeping you abreast of many developments through our newsletters, headteacher briefings and regular correspondence with schools.
In this newsletter you will find all the details of courses being provided as well as headteacher briefings. I ask that you sign up as soon as possible to these courses. The RE courses are very important for the staff of our schools and booking for these courses for primary and secondary schools are directly with the DES. I do hope that you will be able to send all of your NQTs on the appropriate courses that are being provided.
The headteacher briefings are proving popular with school leaders and are covering a raft of issues that will support school leaders. Please see the booking details for this term and reserve your place as soon as possible. These briefings provide a good opportunity for school leaders to meet with members of the DES team.
Recently the Holy See gave permission to the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales to return the celebration of the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord to January 6th and the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord to the Thursday of the 6th week of Eastertide. In this Diocese we have always ensured that these days are marked with an opportunity to celebrate Mass with the school community. This means during this coming academic year the following solemnities will be celebrated during the school term. The solemnity of All Saints (1st November), the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord (6th January), Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord (10th May), Solemnity of SS Peter and Paul (29th June).
I know that this demands practical arrangements being put in place so that these Masses may be celebrated on the day itself and sometimes as a vigil Mass on the day before. We also appreciate the demands this places on our parish clergy and your understanding to work with them in providing these Masses is gratefully appreciated. Again we are grateful for the support you give them in being able to accommodate Mass at a time when they can be available. We are particularly grateful to our secondary school chaplains and clergy within local deaneries who support the arrangements for the celebration of Mass in our secondary schools.
Finally, at the beginning of this year we commend the work of Catholic education to the Lord and the prayers of Mary our Blessed Mother. Together let us remain faithful to the witness and practice of our Catholic faith, to daily prayer, the celebration of Mass and the Sacraments and the daily living of the Gospel in our lives.
With every prayer and good wish,
Fr. Jonathan Veasey Director Diocesan Education Service
Secondary The DES continues to develop its Secondary RE and Catholic Life INSET programme. There are a number of new courses that are targeted at people across our school communities, all courses can be viewed and booked via this link http://www.bdes.org.uk/training-secondary-re.html In addition to this the DES secondary advisers are able to offer bespoke Catholic life INSET for individual schools and MACs. These have taken place in a large number of Secondary schools over the last academic year, with extremely positive feedback. If you would like to discuss planning a Catholic life INSET in your school please contact Daniel Vince, Secondary School Adviser, on email@example.com
Important Section 48 Information Schools will be judged against a new section 48 framework from January 2018. Training for schools regarding this framework will be available each term for headteachers. RE subject leaders, PICCLS and governors. Please refer to the training dates available on the DES website.http://www.bdes.org.uk/training-section-48-inspections.html
School Leadership We welcome all school leaders back to school and extend a particularly warm welcome to those new to post. We aim to support all our new leaders with a comprehensive induction programme, mentoring support and the opportunity to meet and learn from experienced colleagues at Briefing and INSET sessions. Details of all that is on offer is available on the BDES website. We, also ask all school leaders to hold the following dates in their diary for the end of this academic year 14th and 15th June, 2018 –the Annual Head Teachers’ Retreat organised by Educarem and booked directly with them. 22ND June, 2018 –the DES’s Annual Leadership Conference at the ICC booked directly with us in the spring term. We very much look forward to seeing all our schools represented at this event which is always a wonderful celebration with our Archbishop of the School year. http://www.bdes.org.uk/training-leadership--school-improvement.html.
School Admissions Information on everything relating to school admissions during the academic year 2017/2018 has been emailed out to all headteachers, chairs of governors, academy committees and boards of directors, clerks and admissions officers in schools where we have a named contact. If you have not received this information, please ensure that the DES has your current email address so that we can make sure that it is included on future circulation lists. All of the documents are available on the DES website. http://www.bdes.org.uk/admissions.html Governance If there are any changes to a schools Governing Body, Academy Committee or Board of Directors, please ensure that this information is sent to Charlotte Kirby at firstname.lastname@example.org It is essential that any new appointments to parent, staff, co-opted, LA or headteacher positions are forwarded to us immediately as well as the notification of any resignations. It addition to governor changes, please also notify Charlotte if the clerk changes so that our records can be updated and future information sent out to the correct person. Governor Recruitment Every school should have received information this week regarding governor recruitment. We have sent out cards for potentially interested parties to return to us as well as a flyer which can be displayed in school and circulated to parents and parish. Please note that where the Diocese is approached by suitable individuals, they will be matched and appointed to schools closest to them with vacancies whether or not the enquiry has come directly through the school identified. Schools cannot be permitted to continue with vacancies where those positions could be filled by individuals approaching the DES to be considered for appointment.
Secondary Chaplaincy Update For any queries or questions relating to Secondary Chaplaincy please contact Beccy Roseman at email@example.com The Secondary School Chaplaincy Commissioning Mass with Archbishop Bernard will be taking place on 26th September at St. Chad's Cathedral at 10.30am. This celebration is open to all those who are involved with Chaplaincy in schools, Lay Chaplains, Priest Chaplains, Head Teachers, PICCLS, Link Governors and Student Chaplaincy Teams. There will be refreshments following the Mass in the Grimshaw Room. This term there will be a two day Mental Health First Aid Certificate course run at Don Bosco House. There is a free place for those who are a part of the Chaplaincy Agreement and £200 for additional places. This course runs on September 25th and October 2nd. There is an exciting program of training for Lay Chaplains and those involved with Chaplaincy this year - all of which can be found on the Chaplaincy website www.kenelmchaplaincy.org
School Building & Finance Updates There have been a number of developments that the team here at the DES would like to bring to your attention; Buildings General
The DES have introduced a new building pro-forma for all schools and academies to complete. The new landlord approval form can be accessed via the following link:The Department for Education’s data base Edubase which is the main source of school information is being replaced with a new system “Get Information about schools” from 18th September 2017. Please follow the link below for further details.
LCVAP bids for 2018/19. Letters to headteachers will be sent out at the end of September with a return by the end of December 2017. The letter will request VA schools submit their priority projects for consideration for LCVAP funding for 2018/19.
Condition Improvement Funding (CIF) for Academies. The CIF bidding round for 2018/19 is due to open in the autumn term, please do keep a look out for notification on the DfE’s website. Do engage your building consultant early to start planning your bid priorities for 2018/19.
For further information and advice on school building or finance issues please contact a member of the DES Schools Capital and Finance Team.
Website Please take time to have a look at the updated BDES website www.bdes.org.uk where you can find lots of useful information. If you have any good news stories or pictures that you would like published on our website then please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org The online booking form for all our courses this autumn term is now open and can be accessed by clicking on the following link http://w.pfrms.co/84raj. Once you have attended one of our events then please complete the online evaluation form which can be found on the front page of our website or by clicking the following link http://w.pfrms.co/e8k71
Editor’s Note: This email has been sent to heads, principals, chairs and clerks of governing boards also parish priests. Email addresses and personnel are continuously changing, so I would be grateful if heads and principals could check that their chair has received this and vice versa. Please contact me if you discover someone has not received this and give me their correct email address. email@example.com