Birmingham Diocesan Education Service Newsletter Welcome back to the start of a new academic year, after what was hopefully a restful and refreshing break. We extend a special welcome to all of those who have taken up new posts as leaders in our schools and wish them all the best in their new schools and new positions and we will be looking forward to working with you very closely over the coming months.
Similarly, we at the DES would like to welcome back to work Charlotte Kirby and Rebecca Brolly who return from maternity leave. We are delighted to introduce the new members of our team:
Richard Smith as our secondary adviser for Catholic education – replacing Dan Vince
Ben McArdle as our senior adviser for section 48 inspections – this will allow Maureen O’Leary to support schools before and after Section 48 inspections
Tony Quinn as our new senior adviser for school intervention – working as part of our school improvement team to provide intensive support for our vulnerable schools
Other changes to our team:
Maggie Duggan is now the deputy director for Catholic education - responsible for our team of advisers
Justine Lomas is now deputy director for the school improvement team – responsible for school performance, standards and inspections
Both Angela Whelan and Yvonne Brennan will be sharing the role of deputy director of leadership and governance
Details of our DES team members including their specific roles and contact details can be found on our website. I would encourage you to visit our newly ‘revamped’ website which we have made changes to in response to feedback and the needs of our schools. This will increasingly become our main means of communication with you in order to provide you with the latest information from the DES in all aspects of our work.
May God bless you, and all of your school and parish communities, with every success in all of your endeavours over the forthcoming academic year.
Blessed John Henry Newman, pray for us.
The Catholic Education Team send a warm welcome to you all, especially of those who are new to post. We are pleased to welcome Richard Smith to the team as Secondary Adviser. We also welcome back Rebecca Brolly following her maternity leave. The Primary Advisers will be making contact with RE Subject Leaders over the next week.
INSET Details of courses are available here http://www.bdes.org.uk/training-and-events.html and include the Primary NQT course, Primary Confirmation Course and Primary RE Subject Leaders Course, Secondary PICCLS Conference, Secondary NQTs and Heads of RE Conference. Details about courses in the Spring Term will be made available after half term.
Events in the Life of the Church This term sees several major events in the life of the Church taking place. As Catholic educators it is important that we celebrate these special times with the children and young people of our schools.
Canonisation of Blessed John Henry Newman Sunday 13 October Some of our schools have already held events to mark this momentous occasion. Please let us know of any event you have planned. The website of the Archdiocese of Birmingham has information and details about the life of Newman as well as resources https://www.birminghamdiocese.org.uk/Pages/Category/john-henry-newman Mission Together have also produced a PowerPoint Assembly for schools to use.
Prayer with Archbishop Bernard On Wednesday 9 October Archbishop Bernard will be leading all our schools in prayer which will be livestreamed from St. Chad’s Cathedral. This is to mark both the Feast day of Blessed John Henry Newman and the Extraordinary Missionary Month. Details about how to access the live stream will be sent out in due course.
2020 The God Who Speaks: The Year of the Word. The Bishops of England and Wales have declared 2020 the Year of the Word. This will be an opportunity to celebrate, live and share God’s Word. Further information about this will be shared at PICCL’s and Primary Cluster Group Meetings. Launch date: Monday 30 September 2019 Official Start of the Campaign: Sunday 1 December
Service of Commitment If you haven’t yet held a Service of Commitment, please visit the Catholic Education page where one is available to download.
Our newly expanded school improvement team is available to provide more guidance and support for schools in all aspects of the education they are providing in preparation for, or response to, both Ofsted and Section 48 inspections.
Headteacher briefings are not very far away and there is a great deal of important content including both National and Diocesan updates so please remember to book your place as soon as possible via our website. The dates are 10th, 11th, 16th and 17th October.
Headteachers’ briefings are a fundamental part of Catholic headteachers’ ongoing CPD and formation provided by the DES. They cannot be shared through the presentation materials alone and as such we strongly recommend that all headteachers attend in person and avoid using representatives to attend on their behalf.
Birmingham Education Partnership have kindly extended an open invitation to heads or governors from any of our schools who may wish to attend their annual conference at the National Motorcycle Museum at the end of the month. The line-up of impressive keynote speakers, including Andy Hargreaves, are covering the 3 main themes of the conference: leadership, curriculum and inclusion. This may prove useful to you and if you are interested in booking a place or would like more details, please follow the link below: https://www.learningtoshapebirmingham.co.uk/agenda-2019/
LEADERSHIP AND GOVERNANCE
Leadership Events In the last academic year DES staff have been privileged to support governors and directors in the appointment of 80+ Headteachers/Principals and Deputy Head Teachers/Principals. We welcome all those newly appointed to the Archdiocese, and to the Induction course we offer to them. Details of all induction courses and Head Teacher briefings for this term can be found on the home page of our website. We invite all our school leaders along to Head Teacher Briefings and the DES Annual Leadership Conference, which this year will be held on the 19th June at the ICC in Birmingham. Further details of the Leadership Conference will be forwarded to schools after half term.
Catholic Senior Executive Leader DES staff, with support from Yvonne Salter Wright, have been developing the Catholic Senior Executive Leader role for our Diocesan MACs. This role is very different to that of a school Principal, Head Teacher or Executive Head Teacher. It has its own distinct contract, terms and conditions and role specification. Directors must consult fully with DES officers on the appointment process when considering appointing a CSEL because it is significantly different to the appointment of a Head Teacher/School Principal. The DES will be involved in all stages of the process. Please contact Yvonne Brennan when considering an appointment. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Welcome to those New to Catholic Schools! In the last academic year DES staff have been delighted to see an increasing number of successful applications for leadership positions in our schools from those presently teaching outside of the Catholic sector. This reflects the popularity of our schools and the successful impact of the one-day Saturday Leadership courses offered for those interested in leading a Catholic school and Faith community. Should you know any Catholic colleague or friend who is presently teaching in a school outside the Catholic sector and is interested in a post in our Diocesan schools, please ask them to contact Angela Whelan at the DES. Future Leaders for Our Schools For the purposes of succession planning, the Archbishop and the Trustees require us to be able to identify future leaders for our schools and assist current headteachers and governors in preparing these future potential leaders for promotion. To assist us in this task we have asked all headteachers to complete a simple annual return to be able to identify those individuals in each school that have been identified and nurtured for future leadership. This will be sent out shortly and need all forms returned by 30/9/19.
There are 2 three day courses for aspiring future leaders this year:
Future Senior Leaders
Future Middle Leaders
Both are suitable for both primary and secondary teachers Full details and booking form is available on the home page of our website and further details can be obtained from Angela Whelan at the DES (email@example.com).
Feedback from delegates on previous courses has been excellent and half of those attending last year’s leadership courses were promoted either within their school or in another Catholic school. We look forward to welcoming your future leaders for training.
Briefings for Governors A new initiative for this academic year will be Diocesan briefing sessions for Chairs of Governors. These termly sessions will be to update Chairs with relevant or new information issued by the Diocese or the DfE and will also be a good opportunity to network and share good practice. If the chair is unable to attend then another governor should attend to ensure the school is represented. The sessions for the autumn term will be:
Wednesday 16th October at Don Bosco House Tuesday 5th November at St Gregory the Great School in Oxford Wednesday 6th November at Blessed William Howard School in Stafford
The sessions will run from 5.00 pm to 7.00 pm and places will need to be pre-booked using the link on the homepage of our website.
The Diocese is delighted to announce that we now have a pool of experienced Diocesan Leaders of Governance (DLGs) who can be used to support any aspect of your school’s governance should you identify that this is something you would benefit from. If your governing body needs some support in a particular area, please contact Rebecca Tonks (firstname.lastname@example.org) who will identify a suitable DLG for you to be matched with. Please note that whilst the support is free of charge and may be able to be undertaken via telephone conversations or email, schools would need to cover any costs incurred by the DLG for example travelling expenses if appropriate.
It is essential that we have up to date names and email addresses for your schools Chair of Governors and Clerk to the Governing Body to ensure that they receive all appropriate correspondence from us. Please forward this information to either Liz Buck (email@example.com) or Charlotte Kirby (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Admissions All Head Teachers, Chairs, Clerks, admissions officers (where known) and school offices should have received an email with information and guidance documents regarding setting the schools admissions policy for 2021/2022. If you have not received this, please email Rebecca Tonks (email@example.com) to ensure that we have your correct details. All of the information is available on the admissions page of our website at https://www.bdes.org.uk/admissions.html
When setting your school’s 2021/2022 admissions policy it is essential that you do not simply update your 2020/2021 policy. The CES has requested some changes be made which have been incorporated into the 2021/2022 model policies. If you do not use the new model template from our website these changes will be missed and your policy will not be acceptable.
Training for School Admissions and Appeals will be held at Don Bosco House on Monday 11th November from 9.30 am to 3.00 pm. The target audience for this session will be any school staff who are involved with school admissions, and governors may also find it useful to attend. Please book a place using the booking form on the home page of the website.
Firstly, welcome to Holy Cross Catholic MAC, a group of seven Coventry schools that converted on 1st September. In addition, we have had the merger of Pope John XXIII and Bishop Cleary MACs in Wolverhampton, creating the new St Francis and St Clare Catholic MAC. This will be a busy year with the Academy Programme key in the development of Catholic Education in the Archdiocese of Birmingham. In accordance with the expectation of the Archbishop and Trustees, all Catholic Schools under the Trust Deed will convert to Academy status within a Multi Academy Company (MAC). The expectation of the DES remains:
All Schools to be clear on their local School Groupings and Governing Bodies have a plan for conversion by September 2019
All Schools will have converted to be part of a MAC by September 2020
We are delighted that the majority of children and young people are now being educated across the Archdiocese of Birmingham are being educated within a Catholic MAC. Please see list of Schools currently within MACshere. Based on existing conversion plans almost two thirds of pupils within the Archdiocese will be educated within a MAC structure by January 2020. There are 24 schools already in the process of joining or creating new MACs. Additionally, following the Summer Term roadshows and Academy Strategy returns, there are a number of schools ready to discuss their future Academy partnership. We will be supporting these schools and engaging further with those that have not yet committed to the Academy Programme. Some good news has recently been announced which will financially support Schools moving towards academisation. On 19th July the DFE announced a new £17 million fund to support the growth and development of academy trusts. Information on this new Trust Capacity Fund (TCaF) can be accessed through the following link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-your-eligibility-for-the-trust-capacity-fund
BUILDINGS AND FINANCE
Date for the Diary – School Business Manager (SBM) annual conference to be hosted by the diocese March 5th 2020, venue to be confirmed.
The SBM regional network meeting dates are available on the DES website, please do bring the dates to the attention of your SBM, CFO or finance officer.
School Place Planning continues to be on the agenda for discussion with local authorities. Please remember to get in touch with Toni Guest if you have been approached by your LA and asked to consider expansion.
Should you be considering making changes to your school building, remember to use a building consultant and submit a landlord approval form prior to commencing work which can be accessed on our website.
Academies The DfE has published guidance on setting executive salaries in academies. The full guidance can be read here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/setting-executive-salaries-guidance-for-academytrusts/setting-executive-salaries-guidance-for-academy-trusts
One of the items referred to is the School Resource Management Self-Assessment Tool (SRMSAT). From ‘autumn 2019’ completion of the SRMSAT will become mandatory for academy trusts on an annual basis. For 2019, trusts with an open academy on 31 August 2019 will need to provide a copy of the completed self-assessment checklist to ESFA by 14 November 2019.
VA Schools - LCVAP funding The diocese will be responsible for allocating capital funding across the VA school estate from 2020 onwards. There will be a consultation later in the year on the longer-term process and assurance expected by the DfE. Officials want to keep the process light touch, therefore for the first year the eligibility criteria are expected to be the same as they are at present. Further information will be shared about how to apply for LCVAP funding during October 2019.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified or dismayed (intimidated), for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9.