As the end of the school year draws to a close, we give thanks to God for all the blessings that he has given and for all the good things he has done. We pray that the summer break will bring each of you refreshment, peace and times of joy with family and friends. To those of you who are beginning a new chapter of your lives we ask that God continues to bless you and sustain you. We pray especially for our children and young people and their families. May they enjoy this time of rest and remain safe and well. We remember especially those young people who are now venturing out into the world and pray that they will remember the love of Christ shown to them throughout their years at school. May they continue to announce the Gospel in their lives.
May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, the rains fall soft upon your fields. And, until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand. Amen.
We have received a significant number of wonderful messages from those that attended the leadership conference either in person or virtually. Under the challenging circumstances the conference proved to be a great success once again. Our thanks to the DES team members who worked so hard to make it such a success. We have seen the recent launch of the diocesan plan by the archbishop across all parishes in the archdiocese. In light of this, next year the DES will be working with schools to assist them in developing their links, and opportunities for working, with their local parish within the context of the diocesan plan.
Any school wanting support from the SVP for any of their families over the summer, should feel free to contact Clare O’Brian (the diocesan solicitor who works at Cathedral House). She will ensure that they receive some support from the nearest SVP group within the diocese. She can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org
We are delighted to announce that Liz Hodgins has been appointed as our new Finance Officer and will be taking up post in September. Similarly Ted Hammond has been appointed as the new deputy director for Education Standards at the DES. This new and exciting role will encompass a number of different aspects of the DES work. We hope to continue with our recruitment next term with more new roles in the DES team. We are evolving to meet the changing needs of our MACs and schools and the services we offer them. We look forward to the new opportunities that this will offer us in the forthcoming academic year.
CATHOLIC EDUCATION The Catholic Education Team would like to express our deep gratitude for the way in which schools have worked with us this year despite the many challenges we have all faced. We are looking forward to returning to a more usual way of working and having face-to face school visits, meetings and INSET. Further details about meetings and INSET will be available soon. We hope you all have a restful summer and the opportunity to spend time with your loved ones.
Mass for Directors and Governors His Grace, Archbishop Bernard will be celebrating this inaugural event. Please note that the original date for this shared with Chairs of MACs has been changed due to circumstances beyond our control. Do please make a note of the new one in your diary.
SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT The return of routine Ofsted inspections has led to six of our schools being visited this term. All six schools have received very positive outcomes and report that the HMI have been very supportive. We are delighted that three of the schools were deemed to be Good, two of these had been in a category and the other three monitoring visits all concluded that effective action was evident. This has been a long and challenging academic year and it is rewarding to conclude with such positive news. BUILDINGS AND FINANCE As we are about to enter the summer holidays, many construction projects are due to start on school sites as it’s an ideal time for work to be carried out. Members of the DES Finance & Building team are around throughout the remainder of July and August should you have any queries during this time. MAC’s please find link below to the recent letter sent from Eileen Milner, chief executive of the Education and Skills Funding Agency, to academy trusts in July 2021. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/letter-to-academy-trust-accounting-officers-july-2021?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_source=5f9eef7c-1a24-408b-91e6-462d43608b55&utm_content=daily Many thanks to all schools and academies for submitting the statutory testing and compliance returns. We appreciate how much time and effort it can take to collate this important information, thank you for your submissions. Environmental awards. The Church Times, in collaboration with members of both the Church of England and Roman Catholic environmental working groups, has recently launched The Green Church Showcase — a hunt for inspiring initiatives to protect and preserve the planet. See https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/green-church-showcase The DFE offer free webinars for schools and academies: https://www.schoolresourcemanagement.co.uk/ The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme has been allocated additional funds and been extended to help more young people to access volunteering and extra-curricular learning. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/34-million-to-expand-the-duke-of-edinburghs-award-in-schools LEADERSHIP AND GOVERNANCE MAC and School Leadership: Archdiocesan Leadership Conference We were so pleased that so many could come together either in person at the ICC or virtually to engage in the Archdiocesan Leadership Conference held on 18 June 2021. If you need a boost to remember the inspiration of the conference or weren’t able to engage, further information and pictures of the day are now available on the following webpage, including a video of the Archbishop’s articulation of the Archdiocesan Vision. https://www.bdes.org.uk/leadership-events.html We would like to particularly highlight and thank those who were presented with Ubi Caritas Awards for their services to Catholic education in the Archdiocese: Michael Aldred St. Margaret Mary, Erdington Patricia Bekalo St. Thomas Aquinas, Stoke-on-Trent Dianne Carbon St. John Fisher, Littlemore
Helena Cusack St. Mary’s, Harborne John Antony Kenny St. Dunstan’s, Kings Heath Clare Madden Lumen Christi Multi-Academy Company
Sharon Mason St. Chad’s, Sedgley Mary O’Friel St. Patrick’s and St Edmund’s, Springhill Patrick O’Leary St Bernard’s Catholic Primary School
Jane Price St. Mary’s, Southam Caroline Quinn All Souls, Coventry Sue Tomkys St. Joseph’s, Headington
Clare van Vliet Our Lady of Fatima, Harborne Thomas Walker St Aloysius, Oxford School Admissions Schools are reminded that the revised Admissions Code has been approved through Parliament and comes into effect from 1st September. Guidance documents have been sent to all schools in relation to the changes and action that must be taken. Please look at these carefully so that you are familiar will the impact on your school and can prepare for any amendments that you make in order to meet the requirements of the revised Code. Multi Academy Developments The DES team continue to work with schools and our Multi Academy Companies to create sustainable families of schools, providing the very best teaching and learning experience for our pupils. We thank all those that have been working together tirelessly to prepare for the conversions that will complete on 1 September 2021. More details will be provided in our next Newsletter, though periodic updates are available on the DES website: https://www.bdes.org.uk/academies.html Following the statement at the Diocesan Leadership Conference, and subsequent letter from His Grace www.bdes.org.uk we are supporting a number of enquiries from across the Diocese on the next steps schools need to take on the conversion journey. We will continue to engage with governing bodies to support you on this journey. Sincere Appreciation to All Senior Leaders, Governors and Directors As we reach the end of the academic year, the DES would like to extend its sincere gratitude to all senior leaders, governors and directors who have continued to work so hard and with such commitment throughout this challenging year. Your contribution to Catholic education is greatly appreciated and never underestimated. We hope that the summer will allow you to take a well-deserved break ahead of the beginning of the new academic year and look forward to welcoming you back in September.
“Go throughout the whole world and preach the Gospel to all people” Mark 16:15