Please note that the dates and times below are for information purposes only and are subject to change. Some of the courses can be booked onto via the booking form above and others will be by personal invite from the DES. Courses that require you to complete the booking form above will be available to book onto in termly blocks.
The DES continues to offer leadership training to newly appointed Headteachers and Deputy Headteachers. Training for aspiring leaders is delivered with the support of Teaching Schools, which now receive funding for leadership development. The DES also intends to increase the number and scope of training opportunities offered in the next academic year. This is because the need to recruit, retain and train school leaders remains a key priority within the DES, with senior staff regularly involved in organising leadership development opportunities and Headship and Deputy Headship appointments. The latter are becoming increasingly important as we seek to identify future Headteachers and Principals for our schools. All schools are therefore asked to inform the DES, not only when a Head Teacher is being appointed, but also when a Deputy is being appointed.
HEADTEACHER BRIEFING DAYS
As part of the new DES services we are offering headteacher briefing sessions for all our schools. The purpose is to provide regular updates on all matters affecting Catholic education both nationally and locally at diocesan level, including the diocesan academy strategy. Through these meetings we hope to provide the opportunity for headteachers to meet and discuss the information provided and to network with colleagues from across the diocese. We aim to ensure that key DES officers will be able to deliver key presentations on these days and be available during the day for headteachers to consult and with as and when required. There will also be guest speakers delivering presentations during the year on a range of key issues affecting our schools. Places are limited to one per school and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. It is expected that all headteachers make every effort to attend these briefings in order to receive important information on key issues affecting all of our schools.
Please be advised that as a precautionary measure we are cancelling all training courses until after the school Easter holidays when the situation will be reviewed. This is in line with current good hygiene practice, of minimising contact and opportunities for possible spread of coronavirus, we have decided that we should be avoiding these situations.
This step is being taken on health grounds due to the fact that we will be having significant numbers of people in relatively confined space during these sessions.
We will be keeping this decision under constant review.
Following the current advice from government we are not advocating closure of schools. However, schools should take the necessary steps to prepare for such an eventuality should it be necessary in order to minimise any possible disruption to the school and the education of the pupils. This is a decision that needs to be taken at a local level, as and when the need arises, and after consultation with local public health officials.
In the meantime it would be prudent for headteachers and governors keep up to date with the latest advice on the government websites and public health websites.
Important Information Regarding Section 48 In light of the COVID-19 crisis, the Diocesan Education Service is suspending the Section 48 inspection schedule until further notice. This means that any school anticipating their inspection imminently will not be inspected until further notice.
With inspections being delayed, there will be an inevitable backlog of pending inspections. This could potentially cause problems for diocesan schools and academies who are legally required to secure a Section 48 inspection before the end of the third or fifth year following the academic year in which they were last inspected. As you know, failure to comply with this requirement is now something lead inspectors are required to report in Ofsted inspections (Ofsted, School Inspection Handbook, November 2019, paragraph 37). Ofsted have made it clear to us that they will require schools to explain their non-compliance but would recognise the current situation as an exceptional circumstance that would legitimise deferral. Such explanations will not be required until September 2020. Ofsted have said they would expect a formal note of deferral from the archdiocese in such circumstances, which we will formally issue to individual schools.
Section 48 Monitoring Visits will also be suspended until further notice.
It is hoped that this move will alleviate some of the additional pressure that our schools are currently experiencing and enable leaders to focus on the day-to-day running of their schools and in-house management of the crisis we face. Every member of our diocesan family is at the forefront of our prayers at this time. In what is an unprecedented era, with much uncertainty and anxiety, we hope you can take comfort from knowing that we are walking this journey with you, and are asking the Holy Spirit to be with you, strengthen you and be your advocate and guide.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid and don’t panic, for I, the Lord your God, am with you in all you do.” (Joshua 1:9)