Dear Colleagues in Catholic Education, In this month of November the spirituality of the Church focuses upon our prayer for the faithful departed. In these days, we have been praying for loved ones who have gone before us and especially those who have been part of our lives. We remember in a particular way, those who have helped us to grow in faith. In the last year a number of schools have grieved the loss of staff, pupils and family members. I am conscious of the impact this has upon you all and of the great support you give to one another, especially through prayer and reaching out to those in need at these times. During this month I will be offering Mass for the repose of the soul of all those members of our school communities who have died this past year. We ask the Lord to reward them with eternal life and give consolation and strength to those who are bereaved.
Our prayer for the Holy Souls reminds us that our true home is in heaven and that we are made for eternal life. St. Irenaeus of Lyon, a great saint of the second century spoke of God’s glory being found in human beings being fully alive. He understood “fully alive” as sharing in the gift of eternal life which God offers.
As Catholic school communities striving to offer the very best education for our young people, we are called to prepare our children for a share in eternal life both now and in the future. Such a vision demands that we ensure the spiritual formation of every member of our school community is the foundation of all we do. The glory of God is to be found in the human person fully alive.
With my best wishes and prayers Fr. Jonathan Veasey Director Diocesan Education Service
12th February 2018 – Governor Induction Training – venue DBH 27th February 2018 – Director Induction Training – venue DBH All bookings are through our website.
We are wanting to further develop the training we offer for governance of both VA schools and academies. In order to do this we would ask that you complete a simple skills audit online which will help inform us what we need to provide for you: http://w.pfrms.co/g4y7a
The DES team are continuing to support all Schools on their journey towards becoming part of a Diocesan Multi Academy Company (MAC). Over recent weeks there have been many further discussions with Chairs and Governors on the position of Schools locally. It is estimated that within 12 – 18 months over two thirds of our 237 Schools will be working within our MAC structure. The commitment of all Governors in supporting this move to protect, secure and improve Catholic education (for generations of children and young people) is hugely appreciated by the staff here at the DES and the Trustees of the Archdiocese of Birmingham. Should you wish to discuss the progress of your School towards becoming part of a MAC please contact Mark O’Connell (email@example.com) or by telephone on 01675 464755 ext. 123.
As part of the ongoing development of the Diocesan Academy Strategy, we are designing a brief version of the Academies Strategy Return Form, for on-line completion. It is important that we continue to have a snapshot of all the good work being undertaken across the Diocese and we will shortly be advising Chairs when the form is available for completion.
Buildings & Finance
School Business Manager (SBM) Network meetings are offered on a regional basis where Catholic SBM’s come together to discuss relevant current topics, diocesan updates are shared and training provided. For the dates and location of future meetings and to book a place please click on the link below: http://www.bdes.org.uk/training-buildings--finance.html
Statutory Testing & Maintenance The majority of schools have now provided a return to the DES, thank you to those schools that have completed their return. The next phase of work will be an audit of the returns from which an action plan will be developed. Further details will be provided in due course.
ESFA’s Condition Data Collection Programme Update You should now be aware of the Condition Data Collection (CDC) Programme and its importance to the Department for Education (DfE) in determining future levels of condition funding for responsible bodies. Those schools that are due to be surveyed in Tranche 3 should have received notification from the DfE by now. Please click on the link below for further information; https://www.gov.uk/guidance/condition-data-collection-programme-information-and-guidance
Primary RE and Catholic Life Updates Cluster Group Meetings The focus of the Autumn Cluster Meetings is Collective Worship with a particular focus on the traditional prayers of the Church with links to the Diocesan Strategy.
The Staffroom Noticeboard for this half term is available on re-live on the main page of RE & Catholic Life: http://www.bdes.org.uk/re-and-catholic-life.html The planning template for the CSPP for Learned & Wise is within the Catholic Schools Pupil Profile page on the Primary section of RE Live.
INSET All courses must be booked electronically via the booking form link: http://www.bdes.org.uk/training-primary-re.html Autumn 2 • Leading and Managing RE (Primary) • New to Catholic Education (Primary & Secondary) • Bereavement Training for Headteachers and School Leaders (Primary & Secondary) Spring 1 • Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion • NQT Training Day 2
Please note the following courses are new this year in response to requests from schools. Please do make every effort to make use of this provision.
New to Catholic Education Aspiring Catholic Middle Leaders Aspiring Catholic Senior Leaders
Details of all Secondary RE and Catholic Life courses and training is on the DES website. In addition the DES secondary team can provide Catholic life and RE INSET to meet individual school’s needs. In you wish to discuss this further please contact Daniel Vince on firstname.lastname@example.org
Secondary Chaplaincy Update For any queries or questions relating to Secondary Chaplaincy please contact Beccy Roseman at email@example.com
The Diocesan Chaplaincy Team Certificate will begin on December 1st. Delivered by Sr. Judith Russi and Beccy Roseman, this is a great opportunity to train your student chaplaincy teams this year! This is a FREE course for those who are a part of the Chaplaincy Agreement and £500 for all other schools.
The next Chaplaincy INSET day is December 7th where Youthscape will be delivering a great session on Young People and Self Esteem. There will also be the chance to share resources and hear of good practice from other schools.
Supporting Leadership Thank you to all new headteachers and deputies who attended the first day of their induction programme last half term. Session 2 of the Induction Programme for headteachers and deputies takes place on Wednesday 5th November and Wednesday 12th November respectively. We look forward to welcoming you again to Don Bosco House.
Thank you too, to all those who have volunteered to mentor our new headteachers and heads of school and to those who contribute to our Induction Programmes and Head Teacher Briefings. We very much appreciate your great generosity of spirit.
Aspiring Leaders We are now looking to offer aspiring leader programmes to those staff wishing to pursue a career in Catholic education at middle and senior leader level. Headteachers are asked, unless they have already done so, to submit potential names for candidates for these programmes to Angela Whelan firstname.lastname@example.org.
The plan in the next 2 terms is to offer courses both here at Don Bosco house and at schools in different parts of the diocese in order to develop leaders for the future who are able and comfortable with giving public witness to their Faith. The emphasis in the courses will be on supporting individual members’ faith formation to support them in eventually leading a community of Faith.
We have already two dates planned for the spring term; we are offering a whole day on 7th February for aspiring senior staff and the 12th February for aspiring middle leaders. Booking forms are available on the website to those you have already identified, or will identify, as our potential leaders in the future